Police arrested Henry William Sintay, 30, of Oakland, Calif., after social media’s overwhelming proof of his actions against not only a Black homeless man, but also his tussle and subsequent robbery of Matt Nelson, a social justice leader who went back to Lake Merritt a day later to ensure the safety of the homeless man, Drew.
Sintay was charged with felony second-degree robbery of Nelson and is being held in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $55,000 bail.
Sintay confessed to police that he stole Nelson’s phone after being filmed, and his lawyer said he was feeling the pressure of receiving hundreds of messages on social media. People additionally have banded together to support the victim by raising over $9,000 and counting beyond a $3,000 goal of the GoFundMe page launched by BBQ Becky racism victim, Kenzie Smith.
Nelson had returned to Drew’s camp after the incident, recording on Facebook Live, and found Sintay there pulling Drew’s belongings out of the lake. When he asks Sintay questions, Sintay grabs the phone, struggles with a screaming Nelson and runs away with Nelson’s phone. He shouts for his friend “T” to run, too.
Watch video here:
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, June 9, 2018
Sintay’s court hearing was on Wednesday in Alameda County, and he is requested back in court on Monday. Prosecutors also allege that Sintay has a prior felony conviction for selling or transporting marijuana in Riverside County in 2009.
While some Sintay friends anonymously said he made mistakes, one admitted he was a jerk, according to the SF Chronicle. What is more appalling is that according to his lawyer, Sintay had been homeless himself before and claims he was trying to help the homeless man.
Many think otherwise. Smith, BBQ Becky’s victim, wrote on the GoFundMe page: ” Drew is one of our neighbors. We’re disgusted that someone thought it was ok to treat Drew this way and [we] want to show him through our care that what happened to him is unacceptable.”
Nelson in a statement called the arrest of Sintay “the result of a wide-scale community participation, driven by an incredible commitment to the well-being of all of Oakland’s residents.”