A jogger in California was caught on video demolishing a homeless person’s encampment while bystanders begged him repeatedly to stop.
“I’m picking up trash, what do you want me to do?” claimed the unidentified jogger, who was sporting large headphones, gym shorts, a backwards baseball cap, and no shirt.
“It’s disgusting,” the man seethed after allegedly tossing some items into a nearby lake. “It smells like piss.”
Oakland residents Kenzie Smith and JJ Harris both recorded videos of the Friday demolition and posted them on Facebook later that night, according to SFGate.
One of the clips landed on a local group page and sparked outrage over the weekend — with many comparing the ordeal to last month’s “BBQ Becky” incident, which happened at the exact same lake. Oakland police are reportedly investigating.
“This was a dick head move,” wrote one user.
“Such a cruel thing to do,” said another person.
In the videos, Harris and Smith can be seen talking to the jogger as he picks through the homeless person’s belongings and starts throwing them into a trash bin. While the man allegedly tossed some of the items into nearby Lake Merritt, he wasn’t actually caught on camera doing so.
“This guy’s been living here for years,” one bystander says, in reference to the homeless person, who has been identified only as Drew.
“You can’t be this f–king kind of s–t to people, man.”
To which the jogger replies, “I’m putting trash in the trash can.”
“That’s not trash, that’s someone’s home,” says another bystander.
The jogger, at one point, tries to claim that Drew’s belongings landed in Lake Merritt on “accident.”
“No, it was not. I saw you drag it and throw it in,” a woman can be heard saying on camera.
“He just picked up all this guy’s stuff and started throwing it in the lake,” another bystander says.
Smith and Harris have both spoken out about the incident, which happened not far from where the BBQ Becky confrontation — in which a white woman was caught on video accosting a black family for barbecuing near Lake Merritt — went down.
“I was just completely taken aback,” Harris told The Guardian on Monday. “This is a homeless man’s stuff — a guy who is always peaceful, never causing trouble, always giving you a smile. That he [the jogger] would do this to another human being, the lack of compassion is astonishing.”
Speaking to SFGate, Smith added: “With me and my situation…I vowed to City Hall that I would not have another BBQ Becky…When [Harris’] video broke, I was outside at the lake, I found Drew and I talked to him, gave him food and water. I went back out that night to make sure no one messed with him again.”
The community has reportedly rallied behind Drew and donated clothes, food, and other items to help get him back on his feet following the destruction of his encampment. Residents have also started a GoFundMe page and already manged to raise over $4,000 since Friday.
“This happened in the community and it was the community who responded to quickly,” Smith told the Guardian. “It shows Drew that people do care.”
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