Bikini barista survived attempted rape attack because she resisted, coworker says

SEATTLE, Wash. — Within the first half-hour of opening up her Kent coffee stand on Tuesday morning, a man walked up to the window and placed an order.

The 30-year-old bikini barista turned to her espresso machine to make him a cup. As she tended to the drink, the man climbed into Hottie Shots Espresso.

"Oh my god," she said when he lunged toward her. A security camera caught the horrifying moment as the man cornered the her, shouting demands.

Watch video below; scroll down to keep reading. 

He started to drag the barista to the window, and she tried to stall him by dragging her body weight. But he still managed to push her outside -- forcing her into a dark alley near the stand.

>> Related: City officials consider dress code for bikini baristas

The barista tried to fight back as he brutally hit her in an attempted rape, and he finally took off when the headlights from another customer became visible in the drive-thru. The woman ran back to her stand with bruises and scratches to call 911.

"She is one strong woman," a co-worker told KIRO 7. "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."

>> Related: Washington city agrees not to enforce ban on bikini baristas

Kent police arrested Michael Reynolds, 33, on Wednesday from a furniture warehouse, where he worked.

He was released from prison in September last year after serving a decade for robbery and burglary.

Police made it a priority to get him off the streets before he attacked someone else. While he's now in custody, the community is still reeling from the unnerving images caught on camera.

"The video is shocking, to be quite honest," said Detective Melanie Robinson. "To hear her reaction, it's alarming. But somebody's going to know who this guy is. He's a coward if you asked me. Preying on vulnerable women such as this, he's nothing more than a coward."

>> Related: Everett considering laws to crack down on bikini baristas

Dozens of coffee stands with scantily-clad baristas dot the northwest and have dripped with controversy since opening in the 1990s. Recently in Everett, the city council considered ordinances cracking down on the businesses -- mostly focusing on making the coffee makers wear more clothes.

The Everett city attorney told KIRO 7 the ordinances were not about placating people who are offended by women wearing bikinis in coffee stands.Instead it's an effort to eliminate prostitution and other illegal activities that the city claims are common at some stands.

>> Related: Judge: Everett bikini baristas don't have to cover up while lawsuit proceeds in court

A group of baristas and a coffee chain owner filed a lawsuit last year, claiming the city's regulations violated their civil rights, including freedom of expression. A federal judge ruled in favor of that lawsuit, which is now on hold as the city appeals the judge's decision.

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