KENT, Wash. -- Police in Washington have arrested a man they say broke into a coffee shop early Tuesday and attacked a woman working there as a "bikini barista."
Police were called to the Hottie Shots Espresso stand in Kent around 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday for a report of an assault and attempted rape, reports CBS affiliate KIRO. Surveillance video shows the suspect approach the shop's order window on foot and order a drink. When the barista has her back turned, the man is seen climbing through the window into the store and pushing her to the ground.
The barista, Madeline Guinto, told CBS affiliate KIRO the assailant held a knife to her throat.
"He kept telling me, 'you're coming with me or I will kill you,'" Guinto told the station. "I was keeping as calm as I could be, but I was thinking I'm going to die trying to live. I'm going to die fighting."
The assailant then forced Guinto out the window. She told the station she he gripped the stand and made him drag her away as she screamed and fought back. She said she wrestled him for his knife after he threw her to the ground in a nearby alley.
"I know for a fact that I'm a lot stronger than I look, so when he was choking me, I knew to just tense up and put my shoulders up, even if I was getting a little bit of air, I could wave my arms back and forth on the ground, feeling for the knife," Guinto said.
Guinto said that's when a customer drove into the stand's drive-thru and the assailant fled. Police released the surveillance images of the suspect, and on Wednesday, a tipster called in and identified him as his employee, 33-year-old Michael Reynolds. Kent police then arrested Reynolds at the furniture warehouse where he worked.
Reynolds had just finished a 12-year prison sentence for robbery and burglary, the station reports.
"I'm so glad he's off the street," Guinto told KIRO. "This guy did not expect me to fight back. He didn't expect me to be as strong as I am. That's why I hope this would encourage other women to be ready. Don't work out just because you want to be skinny or fit into that bikini. You work out to be strong so you can fight back."
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