Calif. Jogger Filmed Messing With Homeless Man's Items

Oakland rallies to provide Drew with blankets, clothing
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2018 7:44 AM CDT
A stock photo of Oakland's Lake Merritt.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – "What has this town come to?" So writes JJ Harris alongside a two-minute video posted to Twitter that shows a shirtless jogger on Friday steamrolling through a homeless man's belongings in Oakland, Calif., throwing some items out and allegedly hurling others into Lake Merritt. Harris' video shows various people confront the man and ask why he is tossing stuff into the lake. "That was an accident," he responds, while continuing to rifle through the possessions of the man, who has been identified as Drew and is not present during the incident. "I'm not taking any of it," the jogger is heard saying. "He can pick it up. I'm cleaning up the trash." Harris, who lives near the Bay Area park and is familiar with Drew, said the items were always relegated to the corner, "not blocking the walkway."

He tells the Guardian he started filming once he saw the "huge amounts of blankets" being foisted into the lake. Harris tells NBC Bay Area that police, who arrived after the jogger left, said the only thing they could fine the jogger for is littering, as Drew's items are technically debris. The San Francisco Chronicle reports locals have provided Drew with blankets, clothing, and food, and a GoFundMe campaign has raised $5,500 as of this writing. In an odd twist, another Facebook livestream video taken Saturday shows a jogger, who the Chronicle notes appears to be the same man, knee-deep in the lake fishing items out. He's asked if he had been the one to throw them in but denies it. A couple of minutes into the livestream, he seemingly grabs for the phone. The subsequent video captures the man taking the video yelling "help me!" and "I'm being attacked!"

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