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Starbucks Employee Scalded After Patron Throws Free Cup Of Hot Water

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(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A Southland man who scalded a Starbucks employee after throwing the free cup of hot water she had given him is behind bars on Friday.

Dennis Christopher Lee, 58, entered the Starbucks in downtown San Diego shortly after 5:30 a.m. on Thursday and asked the victim for a cup of hot water, which the business provides free of charge, according to San Diego police.

After the clerk — a woman in her mid-20s — complied with Lee’s request, he began taking items from a nearby condiment table, SDPD Officer Frank Cali said.

Lee became upset after the clerk approached him and asked him not to use the condiments, telling him they were for paying customers only.

The suspect then allegedly flung the hot water at the woman, who was taken to a hospital for treatment of possible second-degree burns to her neck and chest.

Lee was arrested on suspicion of battery and booked into county jail.

He was being held on $8,000 bail. An arraignment hearing is set for Monday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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