A 13-year-old boy from Washington state with a troubling criminal history is facing felony charges that he crawled out of a minivan he had been driving and into a racy coffee stand and groped the barista before fleeing down Interstate 82.
Police are taking the case seriously given his recent history, including a conviction last year for animal cruelty, and that he was already facing an indecent liberties charge for allegedly attacking a woman last year at a Toppenish church.
“The fact pattern here is disturbing,” said Lt. Mike Merryman, a spokesman for the Yakima Police Department. “His recent past, especially the animal case, really raises red flags.”
The latest incident took place at 7:45 a.m. Sunday at Moulin Brew, a coffee stand at 2412 S. First St. that features scantily clad baristas who perform suggestive dances called “Five Dollar Hollers.”
Merryman said the boy drove up alone in his mother’s minivan and paid for coffee as well as “multiple” Five Dollar Hollers, at which point police say he crawled through the window into the coffee stand and began groping the lone barista on duty.
Police said the barista fought off the boy and grabbed a phone, prompting him to crawl back out the way he came and drive off south. A Yakima County sheriff’s deputy arrested him about 20 minutes later after spotting the minivan on I-82 near Toppenish.
On Wednesday prosecutors charged the boy with first-degree burglary and indecent liberties. Unlike previous visits to the Juvenile Justice Center in Yakima, this time he’s being held on $100,000 bail. The Yakima Herald-Republic is withholding his name due to his age. No family members attended the hearing.
According to court records, the boy has had a growing and troubling history over the past 18 months.
In February 2011, while hanging out with friends after school, he picked up a Chihuahua mix and hurled it 15 or 20 feet in the air, breaking its leg. A veterinarian reset the bone, and the dog was placed in the foster care of a compassionate school official.
On May 13, 2011, before the animal cruelty case was resolved, he was caught breaking into a neighbor woman’s home. He pleaded guilty to charges of residential burglary and second-degree animal cruelty, and was sentenced to a total of 31 days in juvenile custody.
In November he was arrested again, this time for car theft. Sentenced to 22 days in custody, he was already free when he allegedly attacked a 37-year-old woman on Jan. 30 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Toppenish.
In that incident, the woman told police the boy grabbed her while she was alone in the church, resulting in a protracted struggle during which he repeatedly groped her breasts before she fended him off.
According to prosecutors, the Toppenish attack was scheduled for adjudication later this month.
With two indecent liberties cases now pending, the boy’s next court date is Aug. 16.
The owners of Moulin Brew did not return a call seeking comment.
Merryman said he was not surprised to hear the barista left town.
“That would be enough to make you rethink your profession,” he said. “It’s all fun and games until something like that happens.”