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Barista smashing car windshield with hammer | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss
Barista smashing car windshield with hammer | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Young Barista Smashes Customer’s Windshield with a Hammer — People Praise Her after Finding out Why She Did It

Rita Kumar
Jun 18, 2024
10:35 A.M.

When a customer threw his drinks at a young barista, her unexpected response sparked a heated debate online. The incident, caught on video and shared widely, has people rallying behind her bold move. Discover why this barista's reaction is drawing so much attention.

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Emma Lee transitioned from employee to owner of Taste of Heaven Espresso, a small coffee stand nestled in South Seattle. At 23, she knew her regular customers' orders by heart and took pride in her work. But on a fateful Tuesday, her routine was shattered…

Emma Lee at her coffee stand | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Emma Lee at her coffee stand | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

It started with a customer who pulled into the drive-through to order a 32-ounce coffee and a 24-ounce water. The entire order came out at about $22. Now, the customer had visited the stand previously and his angry demeanor wasn't unusual. But things quickly turned hostile when he began arguing over the price.

Emma, trying to defuse the situation, offered to charge him an even $20. However, backing up his car and getting out, the customer insisted on paying less, escalating his demands. The argument intensified, lasting over 15 minutes.

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The customer arguing with Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

The customer arguing with Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

But Emma downright refused to cut down on the price, saying, "You got two drinks... that's not how that works."

The annoyed man opened his car door and fetched the drinks he'd just bought, placing them on the counter. He was growing increasingly aggressive, but it was his response that was chilling.

"Nobody's going to miss you," he spat. Emma's heart raced as he approached the window, his face twisted in anger.

The guy placing the drinks on the counter | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

The guy placing the drinks on the counter | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

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Quickly grabbing the coffee and water from the counter, Emma then asked the man to take his drinks and immediately leave the spot, her tone aggressive.

The customer screamed, spat, and even tried to pry open the drive-through window. Emma, feeling cornered and threatened, was utterly shocked when the man then threw his drinks at her.

The hot coffee splattered against the glass and he got back in his car, prompting Emma to make a bold move that's got the internet talking today.

The man throwing his drinks on Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

The man throwing his drinks on Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

She grabbed a hammer and swung it, shattering the man's windshield with a resounding crack.

"It was a threat after screaming, spitting, and trying to pry open the window, I felt in danger," Lee said.

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The entire incident was captured on the shop's surveillance camera. Emma immediately called the police, detailing the frightening encounter.

Emma Lee smashes the guy's car windshield with a hammer | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Emma Lee smashes the guy's car windshield with a hammer | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

When the officers arrived, Emma explained what had happened.

"Why should this kind of interaction be expected because of the environment? It's disgusting," she said. "It's okay for him to be outraged, but it's not appropriate for me to respond?"

The customer was banned from the stand. Emma pressed charges for misdemeanor assault, determined to hold him accountable for his actions.

Cops outside Emma Lee's coffee stand following the incident | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Cops outside Emma Lee's coffee stand following the incident | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

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The video quickly went viral after Emma shared it on social media. The footage sparked a heated debate. Some people blamed Emma, questioning what she did to deserve having the drinks thrown at her. Others applauded her for standing up for herself.

Emma knew this wasn't the first time the customer had been disrespectful. His aggression had built up over multiple visits, and she was done tolerating it. She wanted to make it clear that such behavior was unacceptable, no matter the setting.

Emma Lee recounting the incident | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Emma Lee recounting the incident | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Despite the frightening encounter, Emma stood by her actions. She was prepared to face any legal consequences, knowing she had acted in self-defense. The support from her regular customers and the wider community was overwhelming. Many praised her bravery and resilience.

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The man, now facing charges and a potential small claims court case for the cost of his windshield, was a grim reminder of the dangers Emma and other women in similar roles faced daily. Yet, she remained undeterred, more committed than ever to her work and her safety.

Just moments before the horrific incident, the guy threatens Emma | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Just moments before the horrific incident, the guy threatens Emma | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

In the days that followed, Emma became a local symbol of strength and determination. Her story was covered by various news outlets, bringing attention to the broader issues of workplace safety and gender-based violence.

Customers and strangers reached out with words of encouragement. The incident, captured on video and shared widely on social media, has sparked a heated debate, leaving the internet divided.

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"Don't see the issue here, got what he deserved," wrote one user.

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Another user commented, "He's lucky it was the windshield she attacked and not him."

"Didn't watch the video didn't have to, 100% valid. People have become too ok with being extremely rude without repercussions but yet I bet he freaked out over her reaction to his actions. Grow up, play stupid games and win stupid prizes," wrote another.

Meanwhile, one user posted the guy had probably picked the wrong woman, saying, "I'm happy for this if he threatened her. He picked the wrong woman, and wrong service worker."

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

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Another user expressed their concern for women's safety, posting, "Windshields can be repaired but if she had been burnt by the coffee, she'll be scarred for life."

Also, one user recounted the guy's chilling words to Emma, commenting, "He also said, "Nobody's going to miss you." It was a bit more than just him throwing coffee."

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

As the debate and overwhelming support for Emma continued, a father of two children posted, "As a father of 2 children about your age, I think you were right, especially since it's your business. Violence is scary to those working alone. It could have been more than an iced coffee."

The debate on social media started heating up with more supporters raising their voices for Emma. Another user said, "The man attacked her first. She had every right to defend herself. It's as simple as that."

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Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

While the viral incident amassed widespread supporters who praised Emma's bravery, some people started passing their verdicts otherwise. One user posted, "First - eye for an eye isn't the answer. Second - why the hell did she have a hammer?"

Another said, "How did he throw coffee to her face when her window was closed?? Or was it holy coffee flying through a closed window?"

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

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A user branded the act as "immature" and posted, "Both acted so immaturely. He threw drinks on a shut window and she damaged his windshield while he was leaving and not posing any physical threat. So immature on both sides."

Meanwhile, Emma's experience of assault resonated with a horrifying reality for many people.

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Screenshot of a user's comment | Source: Facebook / UNILAD

Reacting to the overwhelming support and also the criticism she was amassing, Emma took to Instagram and wrote, "Due to the unforeseen amount of attention this video has received, I want to take a moment to address the real issue here. The safety of women, more specifically those that are disproportionately less protected. We work alone in this industry, wearing nearly nothing and interacting with men (most of which we don't know) all day."

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Emma Lee in her car | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Emma Lee in her car | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Explaining that the majority of people throughout her shifts are kind, respectful, and amazing humans, Emma said, "However, on occasion, we see the ones that think it is appropriate to get violent both verbally and physically. It's 2024 and the women in this industry know, these interactions happen on [a] way too regular basis if not to us personally, to someone we know or love."

Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

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"At what point during an assault does a woman have the right to protect herself? What is the appropriate response? I know this man," Emma explained.

"This wasn't his first time being aggressive but it is the first time he's ever gotten physically violent with me. He had gotten what he had paid for and was mad about the price. The fact that the first thing people want to know is what I did to deserve him throwing two drinks at me is disgusting."

Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Emma Lee | Source: instagram.com/emmxxss

Emphasizing about the importance of women taking a stand for themselves, Emma added, "We need to change the narrative of these conversations. What is deserving of that? This is no longer the time of women that will smile and apologize, having our only acceptable response be the art of de-escalation - this time, we will fight back!"

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Emma Lee after the incident | Source: YouTube / KREM 2 News

Emma Lee after the incident | Source: YouTube / KREM 2 News

"Taste of Heaven Espresso" wasn't just a coffee stand anymore; it had become a landmark of bravery. Emma knew the fight wasn't over, but she was ready for whatever came next.

Emma's story served as an inspiration to many, especially women in vulnerable positions. She received messages from others who had faced similar threats, thanking her for standing up and sharing her story.

Emma Lee | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Emma Lee | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

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The incident changed her, but it didn't break her. Instead, it reinforced her belief in standing up for herself and others. Emma continues to run Taste of Heaven Espresso with pride, knowing she has made a difference, one cup of coffee at a time.

This story, based on real events, captures the courage and determination of Emma Lee and serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of self-defense and community support in the face of danger. Thank you for reading!

Emma Lee's Taste of Heaven Espresso in South Seattle | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Emma Lee's Taste of Heaven Espresso in South Seattle | Source: YouTube / FOX 13 Seattle

Here's another story: Imagine the horror Josephine felt when she stumbled upon a bottle of men's hair lotion in the bathroom, despite her husband's complete baldness. This unexpected discovery would shatter their 20-year marriage in the most unexpected way.

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