A San Francisco antiques dealer whose clientele includes big-shot businesspeople, actors and athletes was seen in a viral social media video spraying a homeless woman with a water hose.
The disturbing incident was captured on cellphone video by Edson Garcia, the owner of Brioche Bakery & Cafe. It showed the man, identified as business owner Collier Gwin, dousing the woman and demanding that she "move."
"I started recording the guy, and this guy is, like, pouring water on plants, and then I saw the lady like this, and I was, like, 'Oh no, that’s a lady,'" Garcia told NBC Bay Area.
Gwin, the owner of Foster Gwin Gallery, told the station Tuesday that the woman is known around the neighborhood. He said that in the past, he had to call the police and city social services multiple times after, he said, the woman became disruptive.
"There’s absolutely nothing that can be done. They’ll take her to a shelter, and they will turn her out in two days," he said. "They will take her to the hospital. They will release her within a day."
Gwin did not tell the station why he sprayed the woman.
Garcia said that he knows the woman and that she has always appeared "very calm."
"That lady doesn't go inside the business. She sleeps on the street," he said.
Officers responded to the situation and spoke with Gwin and the woman, a police spokesperson said. Both of them said they did not want to take further police action. The San Francisco Street Crisis Response Team also responded and provided multiple service options to the woman.
The incident has been transferred to the police department's investigations bureau for possible further action, the spokesperson said.
San Francisco is in a homelessness crisis, which has long frustrated residents and business owners. On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged $750 million to clear the state’s homeless encampments, SFGATE reported, part of a larger $15.3 billion package that would be used to address the crisis.
Newsom’s mission to clear the encampments has been a hot-button issue. Last year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and others filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Coalition on Homelessness and seven people who were at risk of being unhoused. The suit alleged that sweeping the encampments violated multiple constitutional rights. A judge ruled in favor of the group and temporarily banned the city from clearing camps until it was able to provide enough beds at homeless shelters.
Garcia declined to be interviewed when contacted by NBC News on Wednesday.
Gwin did not immediately reply to a request for comment. A message on the gallery's website reads: "This site is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance. We will be back soon!"
Gwin "specializes in San Francisco abstract expressionist paintings and sculptures from the late 1940s through the 1960s," according to a 2018 article by the Nob Hill Gazette. His clients include actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; the late banker David Rockefeller; former baseball player Ichiro Suzuki; Gregg Popovich, the president and head coach of the San Antonio Spurs; and Joe Lacob, the majority owner of the Golden State Warriors, according to the magazine.