South Seattle barista responds to customer’s threats with a hammer

SEATTLE — A South Seattle barista bashes a man’s windshield with a hammer, after she says he threatened her and her customers.

Emma Lee is the owner and sole employee of ‘Taste of Heaven Espresso.’ She is a firm believer of standing up for yourself.

“At what point are we told we’re supposed to just wait for it to get worse,” Lee told KIRO 7.

She said a customer crossed the line on Tuesday, when he pulled into the drive-thru and demanded a refund over the pricing.

“Disrespect and violence are two different things. I can handle the disrespect, the violence is like a hard, that’s where the line is crossed,” Lee explained.

Surveillance video from Lee’s shop shows the man outside of his car arguing with her.

She said customers tried to step in and talk the man down for about 10 minutes, but it quickly escalated.

In the video, the man says, ‘nobody’s going to miss you.’ Lee said that’s when she felt threatened.

“Oh, okay so you have no problem harming me, you’re making that clear,” she said.

The man then tossed his drinks back at Lee as she closed her drive-thru window.

“It’s one thing to yell, it’s one thing to get mad, it’s one thing to even be outside of your car and try to threaten me,” Lee added. “But to actually have the action behind it, it changed things for me where I was like ‘oh no.’”

Lee decided to take matters into her own hands with a hammer. A tool that she carries to keep her safe in times of crisis.

“I personally think that you thought you were going to throw drinks on me and ruin my day, you’re going to pay for a new windshield and it’s going to ruin your day,” she said.

Even with a smashed windshield, Lee said he refused to leave, and she had no other option but to call the cops.

“The police came, and they got him to leave, right. It was understood that what happened is, he assaulted me, and I responded,” Lee explained.

Despite what anyone says, Lee believes that female workers, like herself, shouldn’t be afraid to protect themselves.

“I know so many women that haven’t defended themselves in situations they definitely should’ve and could have because we know that the repercussion more likely than not is going to fall on the woman that responds to the violence than the initial violence inflicted,” she said.

Seattle police tells us no arrests were made.

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