Customer threats cause Seattle barista to smash customer’s windshield with hammer

Jun 13, 2024, 6:58 AM

windshield hammer...

Screenshot of security footage showing the coffee stand's owner, Emma Lee, using a hammer to break a customer's windshield after he threw his drinks at her. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

A barista in South Seattle used a hammer to bash in a customer’s windshield after he allegedly threatened her and the coffee stand’s customers.

Surveillance video, which can be seen on KIRO 7, showed the customer arguing with Emma Lee — the owner and sole employee of the coffee stand Taste of Heaven Espresso. She said the customer crossed the line on Tuesday when he pulled into the drive-thru and demanded a refund over the pricing.

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“Disrespect and violence are two different things,” Lee told KIRO 7. “I can handle the disrespect. The violence, that’s where the line is crossed.”

Customers even attempted to try to step in and talk the man down for approximately 10 minutes, but to no avail. The verbal altercation escalated further once the customer allegedly said, “nobody’s going to miss you,” making Lee feel threatened.

He followed that comment up by throwing his drinks back at Lee as she closed her drive-thru window.

“It’s one thing to yell, it’s one thing to get mad, it’s one thing to even be outside of your car and try to threaten me,” Lee explained to KIRO 7. “But to actually have the action behind it, it changed things for me where I was like ‘oh no.’ I personally think that you thought you were going to throw drinks on me and ruin my day, you’re going to pay for a new windshield and it’s going to ruin your day.”

Hammer in hand, she gave the customer’s windshield one swing, shattering a portion of the windshield on the driver’s side. He drove off, but did not leave the area until police arrived and requested him to leave the premises.

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“I know so many women that haven’t defended themselves in situations they definitely should’ve and could have because we know that the repercussion more likely than not is going to fall on the woman that responds to the violence than the initial violence inflicted,” Lee told KIRO 7.

No arrests have been made, as of this reporting.

Contributing: KIRO 7

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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