Alleged would-be barista snatcher makes first court appearance

The man Auburn Police arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly trying to yank a barista through the drive-thru window at Beankini Espresso in north Auburn early on Monday morning, Jan. 16, made his first appearance in Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.

Police arrested the suspect Tuesday afternoon at his home in the 10000 block of Southeast 287th Street. Because the suspect has not yet been formally charged with a crime, however, the Auburn Reporter will withhold his name for now. Biographical information in court records, however, describes the suspect as 38 years old, 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 340 pounds.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office argued in court that the suspect is a danger to the community and should be held on $500,000 bail. It also argued that there was probable cause to hold the suspect in custody for second-degree, attempted kidnapping with sexual motivation, and for fourth-degree assault. The presiding judge agreed on the bail amount and found probable cause to hold the suspect in jail.

According to first-appearance documents provided by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which are based on the APD’s account of events, here is what happened.

At 5:06 a.m., a barista called 911 to report that a man had just tried to abduct her from her coffee stand at 2102 Auburn Way N, before he drove away in a dark-colored truck.

According to the police account, the coffee stand’s external surveillance video shows a man extending his left hand out of the driver’s side window to hand the barista cash. As he does so, the video captures the image of a tattoo that extends along his entire forearm that appears to read “Chevrolet.”

According to the police narrative, when the barista puts her right hand out of the window to hand the suspect his change, he grabs her right wrist.

“[He] pulls her “violently towards him,” the police account says. “His body is now twisted as he extends [it] out of the open driver- door window. His right hand is then seen reaching out while holding what appears to be a closed, looped, black-colored ziptie,” with an opening about 10-12 inches in diameter.

“The suspect lurches out and appears to attempt to place the looped ziptie around the head of the victim as if to lasso her,” the narrative continues. “It just misses her head as she reacts and starts to pull back. [He loses] his grip on her right hand, allowing [her] to fall back into the stand. Once back, she quickly closes the window and moves out toward the cash register.”

Following the incident, the APD released information about it to the media, including the video and the image of the tattoo. And the public responded big time. Soon, the APD began receiving numerous tips about a possible suspect, with the suspect’s name being the most frequently mentioned.

According to the APD narrative, when police checked the suspect’s driver’s license, his picture appeared to resemble the barista’s description of the suspect’s face, and his state vehicle registration showed he owned a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado truck, which, according to the narrative, had last been seen driving 1northbound on 104th Avenue Southeast about a mile north of the coffee stand.

On Jan. 17, detectives went to the suspect’s address and met him in his driveway. After officers read him his rights, according to the narrative, the man informed them he wanted to turn himself in. According to the narrative, the man’s face and hair and the tattoo on his left arm appeared to be an exact match to the suspect’s.

According to the narrative, the man then provided police voluntary consent to search his Chevrolet truck, which was in his driveway. When police searched the truck, according to the narrative, they found a black-colored ziptie about 10 inches in diameter under the front passenger seat, which appeared to match the size and width of the one seen on the video.

“We conducted a quick search of the vehicle and found evidence linking him to the scene,” Kolby Crossley, public information officer for the Auburn Police Department, said Tuesday…”The overwhelming support from the community was tremendous. They were a great help in identifying the suspect.”