Bar receives threats after gallery owner sprays homeless woman outside

The now-viral video shows gallery owner spraying water on homeless woman asking her to leave the pavement (Screengrab/ABC7)
The now-viral video shows gallery owner spraying water on homeless woman asking her to leave the pavement (Screengrab/ABC7)

A bar has been receiving "hundreds" of threatening messages and calls after a video went viral of the next-door art gallery owner spraying water on a homeless woman with a hose to scare her off in upmarket San Francisco.

The video, which now has over 12 million views, shows Foster-Gwin Art and Antiques owner, Collier Gwin, casually leaning on a railing while hosing down the woman who is sitting on the pavement.

The owner continues to spray the woman even as she screams. After a few seconds, he points down the street and shouts at the woman to “move” multiple times. He then asks, “are you gonna move?”

Mr Gwin later admitted to his actions but went on to defend himself.

He was seen leaning against a fence in front of the Barbarossa Lounge, whose co-owner Trena Hamidi said the bar's presence in the video has led to a widespread misconception that Mr Gwin is associated with her business.

Since then the bar has received a series of threatening calls, emails and social media messages.

"It's scary, it's definitely scary," she told SFGATE.

She said the bar's social media page has been littered with threats to shut down the bar, or to report the lounge to the Better Business Bureau, a nonprofit that deals with consumer complaints.

Ms Hamidi continued: "We obviously care about the safety of our staff and our employees, so it's scary. It's really frustrating and challenging dealing with the backlash of an incident that is not affiliated with us.

"It's almost like we're an innocent bystander, we got caught in the background of that video and people are making this assumption that it was us. Some people have done their due diligence ... but many people are not."

She added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reached out to the business to inform them that the agency has detected "multiple" credible threats against the bar.

The threats prompted the deployment of an officer with the San Francisco police department outside the bar earlier this week.

Ms Hamidi's employees have mostly been fielding calls from angry members of the community, she said.

She said the bar has also been closing early as a precaution.