Seattle bikini barista shatters windshield with hammer after customer throws drinks at her

The barista said the customer was upset about the price of his drinks despite being a repeat customer.

Seattle bikini barista shatters windshield with hammer after customer throws drinks at her

SEATTLE — Surveillance video captured a tense exchange between a coffee stand owner and a customer last week.

The video captured a customer throwing drinks at Emma Lee, owner of South Seattle coffee stand Taste of Heaven Espresso.

Lee retaliated by shattering the customer's windshield with a hammer. The heated exchange happened on June 11.

"Women are allowed to respond when there is danger in ways other than crying," Lee said. "This is something other women in the industry know happens."

Lee said the video she posted online was a small portion of the 15-minute encounter between her and the customer who refused to leave. According to Lee, he was upset about the price of his drinks despite being a repeat customer.

"For a customer to get out of a vehicle in any sense, but especially to threaten, argue, to do any of those things is so wildly inappropriate," she said.

The video has been widely shared and commented on. Lee said she's seen people giving their opinion on her actions but stands by her decision to crack the customer's windshield with a hammer.

"I was scared and also, I had confidence he was not going to take it further than what he had already done," Lee said. "What is going to happen next? What am I going to wait to have happen to have this be an even more terrible story?"

A lot of the comments Lee has read focus on her profession. Many people have insinuated or directly said she deserves or should expect behavior like what was shown in the video because of what she does for a living.

"I think the conversation needs to change from, 'What did she do to deserve that?' To, 'Why did he think that was appropriate? And what response was he expecting,'"? Lee said. "All women, no matter their job, deserve to be treated with respect."

As for legal action, Lee said she called the police. Officers showed up and convinced the man to leave. She said its been made clear to her she was the victim in this case. She turned over all the surveillance video to Seattle police which showed the entire 15-minute interaction.

"I've talked to now three or four different officers," Lee said. "No one has said a single thing about what I've done. It's all been about let's try our hardest to keep him away."

Despite what happened, Lee said she does not plan to quit a job she enjoys.

"The majority of men who pull up are kind, respectful, normal people that aren't looking at this as an opportunity to get their bad day out," Lee said.

Since Lee posted the video, she said men and women have made it a point to come to support her business.

Seattle police said the man in the video could face a fourth-degree assault charge.

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