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Oakland Jogger Who Destroyed Homeless Man's Camp Now Arrested For Strong-Arm Robbery

Henry Sintay was charged for allegedly assaulting a man who recorded the aftermath of the viral incident. 

By Gina Tron

The California jogger hated by the internet for trashing a homeless man's belongings has been arrested after allegedly assaulting a man who recorded the aftermath of the incident and trying to steal his phone.

Henry Sintay, 30, was charged Monday, only days after a video of his trashing went viral.

Sintay was first caught on camera Friday while jogging shirtless through a park in Oakland. He was seen rifling through a homeless man's camp, spreading the belongings around and throwing blankets and other items into nearby Lake Merritt. 

“I’m picking up trash, what do you want me to do?” Sintay said when passerby protested. “It’s disgusting.”

The homeless man was not present during the incident. When confronted by onlookers, Sintay claimed that the items in the lake fell in by accident.

Before Sintay was identified, he was dubbed “Jogger Joe” online and the internet went on a mission for his name.

One day later, Sintay returned to the scene and was caught on video again wading into the lake, retrieving some of the items. In a video taken by community activist Matt Nelson, Sintay says he cleaned up the homeless camp and was taking items out of the lake to avoid polluting it.

Sintay can be seen grabbing Nelson’s phone after Nelson confronts him. Sintay says he wanted to see if Nelson was recording him. The video becomes shaky and there is yelling and an audible scuffle.

“Hey! Help! Help me,” someone yells.

Nelson wrote on Facebook that Sintay and a friend assaulted him "multiple times."

"I was also dragged by their moving vehicle and hit a few times in the head, but I'm safe now," Nelson wrote. “Still do not have my phone. Please keep calling it and if Henry picks up, I'd like it back."

He said he suffered a concussion.

Sintay was arrested in connection with that incident on suspicion of robbery for stealing Nelson’s phone. He has been charged with a second-degree felony strong-arm robbery, according to KGO-TV in San Francisco. It’s not clear if Sintay will face charges for trashing the homeless camp. He's being held on $100,000 bail for the robbery charge, SFGate reported.

“I’m relieved that one of the men who robbed and assaulted me has been taken into custody,” Nelson wrote on Facebook. “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.”

It's not clear if Sintay's companion who helped in the alleged assault was arrested or identified. 

The homeless man, who has been identified as Greg Markson, received an influx of clothing and blankets from concerned citizens.  

“I’m appreciative,” he told KPIX in San Francisco. “I’m happy.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she understood the frustrations of some residents with homelessness, but she maintained that Sintay’s actions were inappropriate.

“It’s not appropriate to take someone’s belongings, it’s not appropriate to trash our beautiful Lake Merritt,” Schaaf said.

This is not Sintay’s first brush with the law. He was convicted for selling or transporting marijuana in 2009, according to KGO-TV.

[Photo: Oakland Police Department]

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