Dizzy Dean’s Donuts Owner Accused of Pouring Water on Houseless Woman, Video Goes Viral
Editor’s Note: Due to a technological issue, we have been unable to upload a video recording taken by a concerned community member of his conversation with the donut shop’s owner, Dean Weaver. We will continue to try and will link to it if posted elsewhere.
On the afternoon of Nov. 5, Eugene, once again, went viral on social media for all the wrong reasons. This time, it was because a video was posted to the wildly popular /PublicFreakout subreddit of what was purported to be Dean Weaver, the owner of Dizzy Dean’s Donuts, pouring water on a houseless woman sitting outside. Less than an hour later, the video was posted to the /Eugene subreddit.
The cell-phone video is approximately a minute long and shows the person recording walking along the side of the donut shop towards a houseless woman sitting up against a parked trailer. The camera cuts away from the woman as they get closer and the sound of water splashing on the ground is audibly loud. The houseless person, stunned, and angry, gets up and curses at the man who poured the water.
The man responds “you’re not putting fires up around here.” The woman responds that “I’m fucking freezing, you fucking cunt.” In response to being called “a piece of shit,” he replies “yes, and you’re living outside and have no one.”
Their exchange continued for a few more seconds and the woman yells “you fucking just dumped water all over me.” He agrees and she replies “I don’t even have any fucking clothes to change into, thank you.” The man then says “it’s all your fault” before going back into the side door of the donut shop.
At some point, an Instagram account using the username “dizzydeansdonuts” posted an apology and then another post about the water’s source being a mop bucket. The account—its username has been altered three times within the last 90 days—has had a lot of engagement despite continuously publishing and deleting posts. As of publishing time, the account only has one post up: the initial apology. The account is not related to the business, according to Mr. Weaver.
Unfortunately, the similarly named Bizzy Jean’s Donuts in Springfield, began to receive its own flood of phone calls and negative online reviews.
Early the next morning, a concerned community member spoke to Mr. Weaver of Dizzy Dean’s and recorded the roughly six minute conversation they had. In the recording, the community member introduced himself as a local and immediately asked if it was him who poured the water. Mr. Weaver can be heard responding “that was me.”
Mr. Weaver said that the houseless woman had a fire and that he’s done this “many different times to many different people.” He then said it was the fire next to her that he was putting out.
During one part of their conversation, the man encouraged Mr. Weaver to reach out to local houseless non-profits to learn about and better understand the struggles that the houseless community face. Mr. Weaver replied “I’m not in the business to deal with that. I’m in business to run my business.” Their conversation continued for several more minutes and ended with the concerned community member letting Mr. Weaver know that he was going to sit outside and warn people of his actions as they walked up to the establishment. Notably, Mr. Weaver said, during the conversation, that he had not put out a statement.
Mr. Weaver alleged, during an interview with KEZI9, that the viral video was downloaded off his phone and posted online by a disgruntled ex-employee.
DSM spoke to Mr. Weaver on the morning of Nov. 7. When shown the alleged Instagram account, he denied that it, and its content, was affiliated with the donut shop. He did, however, confirm the previous conversation with the concerned citizen from the morning before and that he did, in fact, pour the water. However, Mr. Weaver claims that he was putting out a fire next to her.
Mr. Weaver showed DSM an earlier video of him dousing a fire in front of a houseless man sitting in nearly the same spot. He said he’s had to do this constantly and has even had to use pepper spray to defend himself when doing so. He added that he always records these interactions. Regarding the previously recorded conversation with him and the concerned community member, Mr. Weaver said that he has “no time or inkling” to learn more about the houseless community as suggested by the man a day prior.
A Reddit poster, claiming to be the ex-employee mentioned, wrote on the website that they were fired one day into working at the donut shop for telling Mr. Weaver that they have a medical issue after signing a W-4 tax form.
“I did not post that video. I did not even go on the property after that event,” they continued. “I am happy he got himself canceled like the biggot [sic] asshole he is.”
Stop The Sweeps Eugene sent DSM a statement regarding the incident:
“When Dean Weaver, the owner of Dizzy Dean’s Donuts, filmed himself on a cold November night dumping a bucket of water on a homeless person, telling her that his behavior was her fault and then had the tone-deaf audacity to post the action on social media, we witnessed a dystopian example of the inhumanity that unhoused neighbors face in Eugene on a daily basis. It’s gone viral and we’re happy to see Weaver and his business facing backlash online and in-person. Weaver could have offered this woman a hot beverage to drink, instead he poured a bucket of water over her on a frigid night; that could have lead to hypothermia and her death.
Homelessness represents a systemic failure of our community’s priorities. We continue to prioritize criminalizing marginalized people instead of helping them build more stable lives. Homelessness is caused by low wages, soaring housing costs, and the housing shortage. If our community wants to stop suffering the consequences of our housing and homelessness crises, we must work to address the gap between wages and the cost of housing, and we must immediately build more housing that the working class can really afford, or better yet just let everyone have free housing.
While Weaver’s actions, and the very real contempt he showed for the life of a person with less material wealth than him, are not surprising to members of Stop the Sweeps Eugene, it is still shocking to see this behavior and it is made more revolting by him bragging via his posting it on social media. We have borne witness to countless acts of cruelty that would boggle the minds of our liberal neighbors in Eugene. We’ve seen EPD officers steal people’s sleeping bags and other survival supplies. We’ve seen City of Eugene office staff open people’s tents and look through their belongings without the owner’s knowledge or consent. We’ve seen housed people throw bags of trash from moving vehicles at unhoused neighbors. We’ve seen City of Eugene Parks and Open Space groundskeepers put a live cat into a garbage bag and then try to lie, saying they didn’t notice that they had loaded a LIVING CAT into a trash bag. (Thankfully, we were able to rescue the cat before staff threw it in the dump.) This cruelty is what our neighbors face every single day.
The novel part of Weaver’s video is not the assault and harassment against a houseless individual itself — this occurs daily. Nor is it the callous dehumanization of the perpetrator’s attitude towards an unhoused neighbor, because, again, this is everyday activity in Eugene. The only thing novel about the video is its existence. Horrible as it is to see this malicious behavior, more horrible still is that the actions and attitude displayed in the video are commonplace but we usually get to ignore them because they aren’t posted to the internet.”
The Eugene Police Department provided a press release and stated that the department became aware of the incident around 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 and, have since, been unable to identify or locate the houseless woman.
That’s not how you treat people, and it is our responsibility to keep telling people this. The owner posted the video, and admitted he did it. There was no fire. The video he tried to submit with a fire was not connected to this person in any way shape or form. It is assualt…plain.and.simple.