A callous, coldhearted jogger deliberately destroyed a homeless man’s encampment and threw his belongings into the lake for absolutely no reason at Lake Merritt in Oakland.
The saddening incident was witnessed by several residents, including John Harris, who recorded it and placed the video on his Facebook page, reported SF Gate.
Harris explained he was relaxing near the lake while waiting for the Warriors game to start when he saw a shirtless jogger start throwing the man Jarew’s property into the lake and dumping it into a dumpster.
Other lake goers tried to reason with the unnamed jogger, telling him the homeless man had been living there for a long time. However, the callous man paid them no heed.
“I am not taking any of it. He can pick it up,” he said when one of the residents asked him what he was doing with the stuff.
However, a woman off-camera interjected that he was throwing it in the lake. The jogger said it was an accident but the woman called him out.
“No, it wasn’t,” the woman said. “I saw you drag and throw it in.”
“What you are doing right now doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense. Now you’re spreading it out everywhere,” said Harris.
After committing his misdeeds, the jogger put his headphones back on and ran off.
Another resident, Kristin Galllup said Jarew always kept the space neat and off of the footpath.
“I think it’s morally reprehensible and straight-up cruel what this guy is doing,” she told SFGate. “This whole incident is a pretty succinct manifestation of so many of Oakland’s current issues—racism, gentrification, white privilege, male privilege, hatred towards poor and homeless people, lack of resources due to funds not being allocated properly, lack of consequences for unjustifiably bullying of homeless people, and sheer apathy towards their predicaments.”
She is right in saying Lake Merritt has a history of discriminatory behavior and zero tolerance.
Just last month, a woman, who came to be known as “BBQ Becky,” called the cops on two black men, for holding a barbecue cookout near the lake.
However, some of the people on social media took the jogger’s side.
“If I see him I will thank him for helping clean up the trash these homeless are leaving behind,” one man said.
Some people have suggested calling the police on the jogger for theft, destruction of property and littering. However, Harris said police considers the possession of the homeless “debris” and at most, the jogger would be cited for littering.
Resident Kenzie Smith, who was one of the men involved in the “BBQ Becky” incident, has called for the community to come together and donate items to the homeless man. The residents have donated clothes, shoes, grocery items, blankets and a new pillow to Jarew.
"You know, the community is really stepping up to help this guy out....It's kind of reviving my hope in the goodness of the people in my community,” said Harris.
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