A jogger has incited outrage after he threw a homeless man’s belongings into a lake, telling disgusted onlookers he was “picking up the trash”.
The man noticed the pile of clothing, bedding and miscellaneous items while jogging along Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, and took it upon himself to dispose of the mess.
With a large pile of clothes already dumped in the lake, the man is filmed picking up more items and taking them to a rubbish bin.
“I’m picking up trash, what do you want me to do?” he tells horrified bystanders who urge him to stop.
“It was going everywhere,” he continues. “Look at this. If you want to help, help!”
John Harris, the man who filmed the incident and uploaded it to Facebook, said he was left stunned as he watched the heartless act unfold.
“This is ridiculous that these are the kind of people who are living in Oakland now. Please share. This bro needs to go down,” he wrote alongside the clip.
Mr Harris said police were called but by the time they arrived, the jogger had run off.
“The man that stuff belongs to is mentally ill. He needs our support, understanding and care. Not this, this is ugly,” one woman wrote on Facebook.
Another viewer called the jogger “a piece of trash”.
Oakland’s large homeless community has caused frustration in the city, with homelessness rising by 25 per cent between 2015 and 2017, a Point in Time survey revealed.
Because of the rising numbers, some viewers found the jogger’s actions were justified.
“I’m sure the homeless will find more trash,” one man said.
Another man said homelessness was “out of control” in Oakland and said those living on the streets added to “rodent, Hep A and trash problems”.
“It is only natural for individuals to take matters into their own hands,” he added, defending the jogger.
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The homeless man, later identified as Drew, did not appear in the video but has lived in Lake Merritt area for several years, according to a GoFundMe page.
The page, which aims to raise money for new clothes, food and bedding for Drew, has raised more than $8000 in just two days.