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Man With ‘Unique Tattoo’ Arrested For Attempted Kidnapping Of Washington Bikini Barista
The suspect allegedly used a "looped zip tie device" to try to subdue a barista at Beankini Espresso in Auburn, Washington, police said.
A Washington man has been arrested for allegedly trying to abduct a barista through a drive-thru window earlier this week, after police shared a viral video of the failed kidnapping.
The incident unfolded at Beankini Espresso drive-thru window at around 5:06 a.m. on Monday, the Auburn Police Department said. Authorities announced the suspect's arrest on Jan. 17 but didn't release his name.
In a chilling 9-second surveillance video clip of the encounter shared by authorities, the unidentified suspect can be seen extending his arm outward from his pickup truck’s cab to collect change from the restaurant worker.
As the barista reaches towards the truck’s driver with a fistful of change, the man forcefully grabs the employee’s wrist before appearing to try to affix a black “looped zip tie device" to the worker’s outstretched arm.
The video shows the pair struggling for a brief moment before the drive-thru worker managed to yank herself away from the driver, spilling multiple bills on the ground. The driver then speeds away.
Prior to the suspect’s apprehension, police had shared the footage in the hopes that the public could help identify him. Investigators highlighted that the alleged kidnapper had a “unique tattoo” visible on his forearm, which could be vaguely seen in the surveillance recording. The tattoo appeared to say "Chevrolet," CBS News reported.
The video made national headlines and garnered at least 2.6 million views on Twitter and a million more on Facebook.
Authorities, however, credited the “overwhelming support” of the residents of Auburn — a small city of more than 85,000 people about 26 miles south of Seattle — for helping bring about the quick arrest of the suspected kidnapper.
A motive in the alleged kidnapping wasn’t immediately released by law enforcement.
Beankini Espresso is a woman-owned coffee drive-thru the staff of which serves coffee drinks while wearing lingerie or bikinis.
The victim, who also hasn’t been identified by officials, reportedly told Insider that the driver pulled up to the drive-thru window and paid for a drink he ordered, but then asked for change for a $5 bill. The incident allegedly began when she passed him five $1 bills, she said.
“He grabbed me," she told Insider via a social media message.
The victim, who has worked at the drive-thru for a number of years, defended her employer, insisting that the business has always fostered a professional and supportive working environment.
The owner "puts our safety number one, always has," she added, stressing that the company has multiple safety guidelines and procedures in place for problematic customers which, she noted, are not out of the ordinary.
"We have mace, tasers, silent panic buttons, we have metal doors — extra precautions for if someone were to try to kick a door in," she told Insider. "We have audio, video."
"Our owner allows us to shut the window on any customer and handle every situation in the way we feel comfortable," she added.
The barista had been working alone at the time of the incident, according to CBS affiliate KIRO-TV.
"They are in vulnerable positions because they're usually controlling those spots by themselves at early hours in the morning when it's dark outside," Auburn police spokesperson Kolby Crossley told the outlet. "But this barista did an awesome job of protecting herself and fighting this person off."
No other information was immediately available from authorities. The Auburn Police Department didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s questions surrounding the active case on Wednesday afternoon.