A man who was caught on camera throwing a homeless man’s belongings into a lake last week has been arrested.
The man, originally known only as "Jogger Joe," was spotted near Merritt Lake in Oakland, California on Friday, June 8. Several bystanders stopped to talk to him and protest as he angrily threw out a homeless man’s things. A witness named JJ Harris stopped to take video of the incident.
Harris’ video shows the shirtless jogger bending over to gather armfuls of a homeless man’s belongings while a woman tells him to stop. "Jogger Joe" drags the belongings to a trash can and some of them are seen floating in the nearby lake.
"What are you doing with this stuff, man?" Harris is heard asking in the video.
"He threw it in the lake," the woman tells Harris. She and "Jogger Joe" get into a heated exchange. "I’m not taking any of it, he [the homeless man] can pick it up," "Jogger Joe" says. Harris films various objects floating in the water.
As the video continues, the argument gets more heated and other bystanders join in. One bystander begins cursing at the jogger.
Harris posted the video on Twitter on Saturday and it has gone viral. "Yesterday in Oakland jogger found throwing a peaceful homeless man’s possessions in the Lake. What has this town come to?!" Harris wrote. He used the hashtag #JoggerJoe and the nickname caught on.
— JJ Harris (@techboogie) June 9, 2018
"Jogger Joe" was eventually identified as Henry William Sintay, Bay Area newspaper The Mercury News reports. The next day, Sintay returned to the lake and was spotted wading in the water, pulling things out of it. A man named Matt Nelson took video of his exchange with Sintay that day.
Nelson asked Sintay what he was doing and Sintay responded "trying to do the right (expletive) thing" by cleaning up the lake. He denied throwing the homeless man’s things in the lake the previous day. Nelson and others begin to ask Sintay questions. Sintay then steps towards Nelson and tries to snatch his cellphone.
"Are you out of your mind?" Nelson said as the men wrestled and exchanged profanities. Someone is heard yelling, but the fight is not seen on camera. Instead, shaky images are seen in the video, and then Nelson and others appear to eventually run away from Sintay — all while live streaming on Facebook.
Is this that same dude? UPDATE: Thank you, loved ones! And thanks especially to my amazing nephew, Theo! Henry and his "friend" assaulted me multiple times, I was also dragged by their moving vehicle and hit a few times in the head, but I'm safe now. Still do not have my phone. Please keep calling it and if Henry picks up, I'd like it back. I'll continue to share the story and folks should feel free to reach out to me here or via email.QUICK UPDATE #2: Thankful for the ER staff who assessed my injuries and thankful for my hard head! Even more thankful for the kind and loving friends and family who have been looking out for me and taking care of me. And, thankful to my community, who knows that Oakland can be a place where the dignity, safety and full human rights of everyone can be defended, protected, and affirmed. I know we have a long way to go, but I also know we have no choice but to get there…onward!BRIEF UPDATE #3: I am recovering from a mild concussion, some cuts and bruises, and many sore and strained muscles. Your love, food, joy, outrage, companionship, laughter, rides, check-ins, insight, and incredible displays of compassion have helped me heal and prepared me for the work ahead. Deepest thanks to everyone who has reached out with love and support! You have taken care of me, and for this, I am deeply grateful.And let's not lose focus: HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT. While my wounds will heal, the deep wounds of inequality and injustice in #Oakland will fester unless we dramatically improve how we treat our neighbors who are unhoused, unsheltered, or on the verge of losing their housing. This is a moral and cultural issue and a reflection of our values as much (or more) than it is a policy and civil code issue. And our values and morals must guide our political decisions. We can do much better by our people. And to achieve this, we need you and the love you've shown me to lead us forward to a town rooted in full dignity and human rights for all.UPDATE #4: I’m relieved that one of the men who robbed and assaulted me (Henry) has been taken into custody. He should be held accountable for his actions, including his abuse of Drew. While what happened to me was horrible, it does not begin to compare with the daily mistreatment of our neighbors who are unhoused, homeless, or unsheltered.I believe that HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT! Everyone who lives here in #Oakland seems frustrated and concerned with our unrelenting housing crisis, including me. This is the impact of growing inequality in the Bay Area in which we have so many of our neighbors, families, and children who are homeless or living in unstable conditions. Families working multiple jobs and living couch-to-couch, thousands living in unhabitable conditions or in vehicles, and anyone worried that next month they could be evicted or face foreclosure.Today, millions of people are celebrating Oakland’s championship #Warriors basketball team, and if Oakland can bring home 3 championships in 4 years, we should at least be able to house everyone who needs shelter. We can do much better. We WILL do much better, but only if you help. What are YOUR ideas? Onward!
Posted by Matt Nelson on Saturday, 9 June 2018
After both videos became widely viewed online — outraging people in Oakland and around the U.S. — Sintay was arrested. The 30-year-old was jailed on on robbery charges and was being held on $100,000 bail at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.
The homeless man whose belongings were thrown around by Sintay has been identified as Greg Markson. Most know Markson as "Jarew," The Mercury News reports. People in the area who saw the video began bringing Markson food and clothing.
A woman named Cari Geldreich says she offered to bring Markson’s blankets to a laundromat for him, the paper reports. She describes Markson as very humble.
"Sometimes I take him a bag of apples," Geldreich told the newspaper — a kind gesture that stood in stark contrast to what Markson experienced just days earlier from "Jogger Joe."