If Ebeneezer Scrooge and The Grinch had a mean stepchild, it would be this guy: a store employee in Canterbury, England. This store employee apparently used a hose and sprayed ice-cold water on a homeless person (or a group of homeless people; there are conflicting reports) to get them to vacate the sidewalk in front of the store.
As Russia Today reports, the incident took place on December 19 but is just getting noticed in mainstream media today. Tammi-Lee Connor posted on Facebook that she saw a store employee at Wilkinson’s – a British retailer that sells household goods – pull out a hose and spray ice-cold water; on a group of homeless people in order to get them to move away from the sidewalk in front of the store.
“No night is complete without drama; kindly provided in this instance by a grubby little man who works for Wilkinsons in Canterbury, who thought that it was acceptable to use a hosepipe to disperse the homeless who were sleeping outside Wilkinsons last night. His reasoning? They’d been there for the last three nights and management wanted them moved. Well, maybe this post will go viral, and we’ll see how much management like it when their staff treat human beings like animals.”
Ms. Connor called the police, and then she confronted the “grubby little man” about his deeds, reminding him that spraying a homeless person with cold water can be considered an act of assault, especially on a cold winter day (according to Time and Date, the high temperature in Canterbury that day was 54 degrees Fahrenheit).
“When he said that the police were on their way to move them along, I pointed out that if they turned up to find him assaulting people with a hosepipe, it would be HIM they took away.He took the point. There was no more water.”
According to The Independent, when the police showed up they had a word with the shopkeeper.
“Patrols attended to assess the situation and ensure nobody was injured. No criminal offences were disclosed to officers. The man with the hose was spoken to regarding his behaviour.”
For their part, a Wilkinson’s spokesperson says that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding: their employee wasn’t assaulting a homeless camp with ice water, they were merely cleaning.
“Our night team was attempting to wash away the debris to make the doorway safe for staff before the store opened in the morning. At no time was any attempt made to use the hose pipe against any individual. When one person attempted to enter the store, police were called, and the individuals moved on.”
Whose story do you believe? Was the shopkeeper assaulting a homeless person with cold water, or were they just trying to clean up? Sound off in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of Russia Today]