- Insider spoke to a drive-thru barista who was nearly kidnapped from work on Monday.
- Security footage shows a driver handling a zipper and grabbing her arm through the service window.
- Baristas like her, who work in bikinis and lingerie, take extensive safety precautions, she said.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A bikini barista described the moment when a zippered customer tried to grab her through the service window of the drive-thru coffee shop where she works.
The barista told Insider that the apparent kidnapping attempt at Beankini Espresso in Auburn, Washington, was a “random act” and that she hoped the man would be brought to justice.
Beankini Espresso is a woman-owned drive-thru whose baristas serve in lingerie and bikinis. The barista, who did not give her name, wrote to Insider via one of the company’s social media accounts.
Security footage shared by the Auburn Police Department on Tuesday shows the brief but alarming encounter, in which a tattooed pickup driver makes a bold lunge at the server.
Auburn Police are requesting information to help identify a suspect who attempted to kidnap a barista in the early morning hours of January 16, 2023. pic.twitter.com/w8qzJQs5ZA
— Auburn WA Police Dept. (@AuburnWAPolice) January 17, 2023
According to the barista, the driver ordered a drink at the window and paid. Then he asked for change for a $5 bill — and when the barista handed him the five $1s, he “grabbed me,” she said.
The footage shows the moment: The driver appears to be reaching for the bills, but instead pulls on her bare arm, clutching a sleek black object described by Auburn PD as a tie wrap. The man’s arm displays a signature tattoo that appears to read, “Chevrolet.”
After a brief struggle where he appears to be trying to use the zipper, he gives up and drives off. Auburn police said Tuesday they had arrested a suspect at his home in the city following an “overwhelming” public response to the footage.
Speaking to Insider on Wednesday, the barista said she hopes the would-be kidnapper is caught so he can’t do this to anyone else.
“There is nothing more we should or could have done to prevent this from happening,” the barista told Insider, highlighting the bar’s extensive security measures.
The business owner “always puts our safety first,” said the barista, who said she had worked there for several years.
“We have batons, tasers, silent panic buttons, we have metal doors — extra precautions in case someone tries to kick in a door,” she said. “We have audio, video.”
If they get a problem customer, baristas are allowed to refuse service for any reason, she said.
“Our owner allows us to close the window on every customer and handle every situation in the way we feel comfortable with,” she said.