Shannon Collier Gwin, 71, was charged with misdemeanor battery after a bystander’s video that was widely shared online showed him spraying a woman with a hose outside his business.

A screen grab from a cellphone video shows a man leaning against a railing. He is using a hose to spray a woman who is sitting in front of him on a city sidewalk.
Shannon Collier Gwin, 71, spraying a homeless woman on the sidewalk outside his art gallery in San Francisco’s Financial District, in a video that circulated widely on social media.

By Christine Hauser

Jan. 19, 2023

A San Francisco art gallery owner who was recorded on video spraying a homeless woman with a hose outside his business last week has been charged with misdemeanor battery, the city’s district attorney said.

The video, made by a bystander on Jan. 9, shows a man identified by the police as Shannon Collier Gwin, 71, who runs the Foster-Gwin Gallery in the city’s Financial District, leaning against a railing with his legs crossed at the ankle.

Holding the nozzle in his right hand and supporting a length of the hose with his left, he aims a steady stream of water at the woman, who is sitting on the sidewalk surrounded by her belongings.

“Move, move, move,” the man says after he stops spraying. “OK? You gonna move?” he adds, pointing down the sidewalk.

Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco district attorney, said on Wednesday that her office had issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Gwin based on evidence from an investigation by the San Francisco Police Department. She said he was charged with misdemeanor battery “for the alleged intentional and unlawful spraying of water on and around a woman experiencing homelessness.”

“The alleged battery of an unhoused member of our community is completely unacceptable,” she said in a statement on Twitter. “Mr. Gwin will face appropriate consequences for his actions.”

She added that vandalism that took place at the gallery shortly after the episode was “completely unacceptable and must stop — two wrongs do not make a right.”


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