A bikini barista just outside of Seattle fended off an alleged attempted rapist in an encounter caught by the coffee shop’s surveillance camera.
The man, later identified as Michael Reynolds, showed up to Hottie Shots Espresso in Kent, Washington on Tuesday morning just after opening. Reynolds allegedly placed an order, prompting barista Madeline Guinto to power on her espresso machine, then Reynolds allegedly climbed in through the window and lunged at his would-be victim, prompting a cry of “Oh, my God!”
Would-be but wasn’t–thanks to Guinto’s quick action and sustained resistance. In the video, the man identified as Reynolds can be seen cornering Guinto and inaudibly making demands. At this point, he allegedly threatens to pull out a knife if she doesn’t comply.
As the attacker attempts to drag Guinto across the floor and out the window, however, progress is stalled once she dead-weights her assailant, briefly making his planned attack more difficult.
In comments to KOMO News, Guinto said:
I’m doing everything I can to stall him. I’m dragging my feet. I’m giving him dead body weight so it’s not easy for him to just walk me over into my death. And I was just like, ‘oh my god why isn’t anyone pulling up.’
Eventually, though, the man is able to push Guinto outside–and this is where the video cuts off.
Once outside, Reynolds allegedly forced Guinto into a nearby alley. But then she fought back. As Reynolds allegedly struck Guinto, she struck, too–stopping the attempted rape in its tracks as another car pulled in and scared the attacker away. Bruised and scratched, but safe, Guinto then returned to her stand and dialed 911.
A co-worker of the almost-victim spoke to local news station KIRO 7. They said, “She is one strong woman. We’ve been robbed a couple times as well … If somebody ever wants something in here, we assume it’s the money. This was much more terrifying.”
Guinto also remarked upon her successful efforts to fight back. She said, “I want people to know I put up a fight…I’m trying so hard not to live in fear. I don’t want this to destroy me. It’s sad that women don’t realize how strong they really are. And, I don’t know, maybe me sitting here will influence more people to be strong and to speak up and speak out.”
Bikini baristas are native to the Seattle, Washington area. The marketing trend began in the mid-aughts and was originally the subject of a fair amount of controversy. Over time, most Washingtonians have grown accustomed to the concept.
Kent police made an arrest in the attempted rape case on Wednesday. Detective Melanie Robinson told Law&Crime that Reynolds has not yet been formally charged with a crime but said those charges should be forthcoming soon. This space will be updated when more information becomes available.
[image via screengrab; video courtesy AU News]