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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (151)
  1. DAX says:

    If I was a Relative of this woman I would be waiting for this dirtbag when he gets out of jail.

    1. SockRayBlue says:

      Perhaps sooner after the bail hearing……………..No problem if he can’t make it to his own court appearance…right?

      1. Jeezus says:

        $8000 dollars are you kidding me!!!! i didn’t even read the rest of this story after i read that bail amount……that sounds ridiculous. This perp shouldn’t be let off so easy. I guess it’s just cheaper and more effective to put him pack out there than house him for so many days, since it’ll cost more to do so likely. I may have read he’s a bumb with no income which could make sense. Put him back out there along with the street justice anyways.

        Some will say, find a way to give a man a free cup of hot water and condiments if he’s homeless. Others will agree, but say, there are ways, and this isn’t one of them. He overstepped his place. he was given a freebie from a business, and then in turn got greedy and evil. People always want more than what’s needed and then get angry when they’re not babied. I’m sure there’s more a reason why this person’s on the street that has to do with their own self more than their surroundings or upbringing. jealousy doesn’t allow you to advance past or through what you’re jealous of in the first place.

    2. stwebb says:

      Hey John, I hate these racial titles…but as an “African American”, I think YOU are an idiot!

  2. Everyday Guy says:

    I would say half of Starbucks patrons come in angry, impatient, and in the mood to belittle the baristas.

    1. robert says:

      Everyday Guy… you are right. There are so few people (I believe) that really care to know anything about the people that are serving them. I was in Starbucks for 5 years… and it was the belittling that drove me out of such a great job and such a fun environment. Thank you for saying what you did. The majority, of starbucks employees are extremely well educated. They are musicians, theologians, and hardworking parents. Most of the customers I have dealt with… come in bitter, angry and running late. We do our best ALWAYS to get them in, and out as quickly as possible…

      1. Rico says:

        Theologians? How do you know THIS? Do any atheists or agnostics ever make their angry way into Starbucks?

      2. Josue says:

        Seems an odd thing for you to get your shorts in a knot over, BTW, being a theologian is not necessicarily contingent upon faith. Get over your own hangups sir (or madam).

      3. stwebb says:

        @ Rico

        Can’t you read? EG said he worked there for 5 years! Perhaps you know little or nothing of your coworkers, but EG did! And I’m sure tons of hateful people make their way into Starbucks daily (you’re probably not the only one)!!!

      4. Dusty King says:

        Right on robert!!! I’ve been in the restaurant business over 25 yrs. and some people are just mean, especially here. Everyone is trying to make it in another field and if they have “made it”, they’re miserable. It’s strange. You guys have the hard job, dealing with people, that’s why I never did.

        Hang tough.

      5. Ri-Coke-Can-Read says:

        @Rico: Theologians can be atheists, and vice versa. I, myself, am an atheist and a theologian. It just means that you’ve studied other faiths/religions and the impact they’ve had on culture and history. In fact, most of the atheists I know are theologians, now that I think about it.

  3. ekg says:

    Idiot. I hope he has to pay all her medical bills and pain and suffering and gets jail time.

    1. Paul says:

      Obviously this guy doesn’t have any money to do either or he wouldn’t be asking for ‘free hot water with sugar’

      1. Jeff says:

        Excellent reasoning to not hold him accountable.

      2. Marla says:

        Wrong, he is probably just cheap, Im a waitress and some of our customers…order cold water with ice, lemon wedge (sugar is on the table) = lemonaid, smaller bill, and next to nothing on the tip.

    2. Tom Halleck says:

      U think this PoS has any $ when he’d begging free hot water??
      Just let him get out of jail then immerse him TOTALLY i n scalding water, see how he likes it.

      1. icecream says:

        Boil him in oil !

    3. JM in San Diego CA says:

      He has no money. What do you not understand about his pouring Starbucks’ condiments into the hot water. The guy is a bum. He is not “homeless.”
      He isn’t “a distressed citizen.” He isn’t “disadvantaged.”
      He is a bum. Get it right, get it good and get it now. Thank you.

    4. stwebb says:

      I hope while incarcerated Big Bubba gives him a nice big tip (and more)!!!

  4. Yes Sir says:

    Now, he’s in hot water.

  5. Alex says:

    Starbucks and McDonalds should have a NO BUM policy

    1. stwebb says:

      Only problem there is they can’t discriminate, you know these bums often go to McDonalds and buy hamburgers! But even Starbucks is barely in my budget these days! I think they should rethink their free hot water policy, because obviously some bums (not all) are lunatics!

  6. LA's the place says:

    Mark Twain once said:

    If you pick up a starving dog and feed him he will not bite you; THAT is the principal difference between a dog and a man

    1. OZZY says:

      pick up a starving dog ? Why would anyone pick up a starving dog Literally ?
      Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

      1. bunky says:

        Ozzy you must be obtuse.

      2. Karen says:

        Ozzy – She DID NOT FEED him. She gave him hot water and asked him to leave the condiments alone. While he had no right to throw hot water at her, if he was left alone, this would not have happened. I don’t know the answer to this. I hope that Starbucks employees ask security to handle this type of situation.

      3. Marla says:

        LA’s Place, Obtuse is too hard for old Ozz to understand, He understands, Stupid, Idiot, Moron, Deuchebag..Im sure Ozz has heard them all.

        @ Ozzy, ease up on the meth and maybe the headbanging buddy!

    2. Netninja says:

      nicely said

  7. Coffe drinker says:

    MY God!!!! Unbelievable….First of all, why is the employeed even care if a customer take a few condiments ? It’s not her business,she doesn’t pay for it
    Starbucks is full of $$$$$, next time don’t bother the customer. Still don’t Condone his actions with a hot cup of water

    Old saying, “the customer is always right”

    1. Give me a break says:

      You’re a jerk. She has a job to do. She already provided free water and a cup, both of which cost money. The rest of the stuff isn’t free nor was this man a customer. He was a leech. People like him result in businesses not even offering free water to people – which they don’t have to do for a non-paying person.

      1. MK says:

        I think she should of minded her own business and that guy would have been gone with a few sugar packets and none of this would have happened. With everything going on today who knows what kind of crazy people are out there.

      2. Coffee Drinker says:

        She already provided Free water and a cup ??? Since when did it become her Store or she became the owner? By the way, it’s not her money!!! Starbucks makes tons of $$$$ to provide a few packets of sugar and HOW does she or YOU know he is not a frequent Starbucks customer on her off days and purchases coffee, pastries, etc…

        What the Hell is a 20 yr snotty part time employee possibly sticking her nose and telling an older patron what to do ? She should be tending to customers needs, by either making or pouring coffee and getting frustrated waiting customers out the door faster

      3. Robert says:

        If you are that “frustrated waiting customer” that you are making a reference about… I wouldn’t want to help you either. You have some nerve.

      4. Conan The Republican says:

        Do the world a favor, and SHOOT yourself today, okay? Thank you.

      5. noneoff says:

        If I’m not mistaken, the State of California had a law on the books that if some one asked for some water, you had to give it to them. This was back in the gold rush days, but I believe that it was never removed officially from the books. Whether it still applies today, and if it applies to hot water I do not know.

      6. Paul says:

        Here in Arizona it’s illegal for a business not to give water free of charge to someone who asks. It doesn’t have to be Dasani or something, but one small cup is required by law.

      7. Everyday Guy says:

        For you jerkies that don’t get it; it is the baristas business to stop a thief. If more people take something for nothing, the price for everyone goes up. I’m not surprised the ignorant leftists on this board don’t get it. They don’t know how a capitalist system works as it isn’t taught in schools.

        Imagine this was your coffee house. Are you going to permit people to walk off with free stuff? I don’t think so.

    2. Wondering says:

      MK – yeah, blame the employee doing her job. That’s what’s wrong with society – no one being held accountable for their actions and others thinking they are entitled to whatever they want. This man was stealing, taking what didn’t belong to him without permission. Had he asked like he did for the water that would have been the end of it. Where are our morals? He was wrong on all accounts – period.

      1. Another coffee drinker says:

        @ Coffee Drinker,

        As the article stated, it is the policy of the store to provide the free hot water. It was not the employee’s offhand decision to either give the man the hot water, nor to tell him that condiments are for paying customers. She would have been remiss for not doing her job had she neglected to remind him of the policy. It doesn’t matter if the man usually buys gallons of coffee every other day, on that occasion, he was pilfering free condiments, probably trying to concoct his own hot drink out of the mumerous free flavorings and sweeteners available FOR PAYING CUSTOMERS at Starbucks.

    3. RJ says:

      Your a idiot. I would never hire you to work for me. But I’m pretty sure you don’t have a job with that attitude. I mean really why does she care. Because it is her job to care and make the company profitable. Also he was not a paying customer. He got what they offer for free everything else was for paying customers. To which he was not. So really he was stealing. Then he commited battery a jailable offence. I hope he gets some time in lock up to think about it. Also I’m sure if it was your kid he did this too you would be singing a differant tune.

      1. MK says:

        She works at STARBUCKS making coffee. Not for the President of the United States. Maybe she shouldn’t take her job so seriously for a few condiments. Was that really worth her suffering for 2nd degree burns? I don’t think so and I’m sure the owner would think the same.

      2. Jason says:

        How much do you make an hour? You clearly aren’t in management or own a business!

      3. Tom Halleck says:

        I guess she didn’t know that was her choice… scalding wate or telling that bum to leave the stuff alone.
        Maybe if she HAD known she could have gotten a Glock and poined it at this creep and gave him a choice; throw water and take a bullet or get the bleep out.

      4. Michael says:

        So whatever anyone does to her because they don’t like what she is doing in the course of her work, it’s her fault? MK you are an ignorant ass and a coward.

      5. MK says:

        and RJ you’re and idiot for not getting my point. Someones pain and suffering is not worth a few sugar packets. Cmon now are you kidding me? What if this guy had a knife? You should not approach crazy bums. It’s not like he was stealing starbucks mugs or other things they sell there.

      6. Roger says:

        People understand your point, don’t project your lack of intelligence onto others.

        The problem is the attacker, not the victim.

      7. Corkster says:

        Starbucks needs to stop giving away cups of hot water, or anything else for that matter, since that is what precipitated this event. The freak who flung the hot water at the barista was neither a patron nor a customer, since he had purchased nothing. He was a freeloader who assaulted an employee. It’s very simple.

      8. David says:

        MK, if you think that ” condiments ” at Starbucks means only a few sugar packets, you’ve clearly never been there. There are multiple flavored syrups, coco powder, multiple flavored creamers, etc. In other words, what this guy did is what a lot of deadbeats to when they go to Starbucks, they go in and get their free cup of hot water and then go over and make a hot chocolate or other hot flavored beverage. That’s called stealing, and if you think an employee doing their job and following company policy then you are what’s wrong with society today.

      9. Michael says:

        Let’s go the other way MK…the bums who got set on fire and beaten by some teenagers a while back had it coming for laying on a sidewalk?

      10. loser says:

        I’d like to direct some of these bums to your house/hovel. You seem to have a real philanthropic bent. I’ll let them know you won’t mind.

    4. Customer Service says:

      Actually, the customer is usually never right. They like to pretend they’re right, but attacking an employee for doing his or her job is NEVER going to be right. Abusing a person verbally or physically when they can’t defend themselves with out losing their source of income is also never going to be right. You’re a moron for even thinking such a stupid thing, and please learn how to spell the word “coffee” before trying to act intelligent.

      1. Coffee Drinker says:

        Customer Service :

        Obviously, you know nothing about customer service…always let the customer be right, by making the customer happy, you get a returned customer back in your establishment not to mention, he’ll tell others and generate profits. Respect a paying customer cause they make up for your check every two weeks. I wouldn’t be surprised if the employee get’s reprimanded or fired ?

        Do you really believe Starbucks wants this kind of publicity or drama? NO!!! They want happy paying customers returning. Too much competition out there over a few sugar condiments (Coffee Bean, McDonalds, Carl’s Jr, and Jack n Box) remember sell coffee too. Word to the wise….

      2. Coffee drinker says:

        talk about spelling Mr Customer Service, with out is one word –> without
        I guess this explains why you’re in customer service

        Obviously it was a typo in coffe instead coffee, nice try idiot ….

      3. Conan The Republican says:

        Its “instead OF” Einstein.

    5. Ian Durner says:

      @ coffee drinker – if i ever see you i am going to punch you in the face

      1. puro pedo says:

        @coffee drinker

        Hey come to my house and cut some flowers and I’ll shove my c0ck in your a$$!!!!

      2. Keep Honkin I'm Reloading says:


    6. leroy brown says:

      what part of “FREE” did you not understand? if you are getting a free cup of water you are a moch, not a customer.

    7. Tired says:

      Because these low life animals make “hot chocolate” and take every last once of those condiments, daily. Try the Starbucks in Eureka Ca. almost never has coco powder.

    8. CoffeeDrinkerIsAMoron says:

      coffe driner, you sir are an idiot. People like you have driven this country straight into the ground. Step back and look at the situation…who gives a $#!+ how much money Starbucks makes? They employ thousands of Americans, and they do it by having a good business model, part of which includes saving condiments and extras for people who actually spend some money in their business.

      Seriously…you need to evaluate your point of view, man. People like you are twisted in the head!

    9. Jason says:

      I take it you’re not in management – otherwise your attitude and your spelling would be better. Just because a company earns profits does not entitle you to them.

      It is her business if she’s an employee. They pay her to run the business. Get a job and stop acting like such a leech!!!

    10. SockRayBlue says:

      Justifying the actions of the free loader?

    11. Stan Kinder says:

      Wow, you’re exactly the sort of loser they’re trying to keep out of the store. She is a representative of the business and has every right and obligation to enforce store policy.

    12. mojavewolf says:

      Where do you live? I’d like to stock up on groceries. You can afford it, too. Compared with someone, you’re full of $$$$$

    13. Edfromca says:

      Perhaps she is doing her job. Your answer reminds me of the usps tv commercial”what do I care ,it’s not my money”. Let me guess, you have no clue about what happens to the employees of bankrupt companies

    14. David says:

      It is YOU who is unbelievable. Clearly the company policy is NO CONDIMENTS FOR NON-PAYING CUSTOMERS. That makes it absolutely her business to tell the guy she had just given free hot water to that’s where the charity ends. Oh, and that ” old saying ” has done nothing but create a bunch of self entitled idiots like the guy who scalded this poor girl…and YOU as well.

    15. Incitatus says:

      Coffe drinker, STFU! Idiot, the man is not a customer. He is a begging bum.

      She told the hobo the condiments are for their “paying customer” which probably she was instructed by her management to do so.

      What a communist imbecile.

    16. Anita says:

      You have the same attitude this looney customer had. Thats the problem. This entitlement attitude.

    17. Jperiod Arwood says:

      I agree. Just give him the hot water and let him make a nasty coco.

      I bet she learned to shut the f(#$k up hahaha

    18. no free lunch says:

      This fellow was clearly not a customer so the old saying doesn’t apply. And it is obviously ridiculous to think that any business has to give away free food. You start that and every other guy (like this one) shows up wanting the same free deal, and then you’re serving them not your actual customers. But I totally get that you (“Coffee drinker”) think that a business “full of $$$$$” can be tapped by anybody for free anything. After all, you’re a Democrat! That’s what you guys all think.

    19. Alex in NJ says:

      Dude are you serious! What is wrong with you. Poor girl had scalding water thrown in her face and will possibly be scarred for life. You have the nerve to call her a snotty Starbucks employee? Seriously man you are truly a d!&*k. IDK if you have some problem with Starbucks as a company or something but how you do not realize the guy who threw the water in this scenario is the dirtbag then you need to get your head checked.

    20. JM in San Diego CA says:

      I am delighted to see “Coffee Drinker,” whether spelled correctly or not, getting his own personal scalding here in this Comments section.

      There are too many bums and obviously far too many people enabling, encouraging and/or tolerating them. If Starbucks (whom I visit occasionally but not regularly) has a touchy-feely policy about giving out hot water, it ought to only include people who can demonstrate ownership of a teabag or similar item. That’s not too much to ask.

    21. Mary L. says:

      No, the customer is NOT always right. Sometimes the customer is wrong, rude and needs to be shown the door. As a business, you have the RIGHT to REFUSE service to people…have seen this used a few times in my life…only when realy necessary. Also, if someone comes in where I work and start stealing things, I’ll stop them. What’s the diff if it’s Starbucks or Macy’s, etc. Stealing is stealing. So, if you have a lot of money it’s ok to steal from you? Where do you work? Oh, you’re probably on welfare and foodstamps.

      1. April says:

        Excuse me…..I am on food stamps (hopefully not for much longer — only because at this point I am desperate), and I think what this guy did was completely wrong. Even when I was homeless, I would NEVER have even gone in and asked for hot water. If he wants free coffee or condiments, he can go to the soup kitchen!!!

    22. silly2 says:

      I agree, let the man have some sugar & cream or ketchup or whatever. Starbucks is an overpriced coffee shop that I am boycotting because of their actions on 9/11. I’m sure they can afford a packet of splenda! So why is the clerk putting herself in the position of condiment police?

      1. April says:

        If he wants free coffee or condiments, he needs to go to the soup kitchen and stay out of Starbucks!!! The soup kitchen probably has better coffee, anyhow

  8. Harry G says:

    I have a winter home in Downtown Diego. Last January during my vacation down there I was walking back to my townhouse from that Starbucks around six in the evening when I was accosted by a bum asking for money. He must of saw me come out of Starbucks. I had spent most of my money there so I gave him what I had left which was about a dollar in loose change. instead of thanking me he cursed me saying I was cheap and walked away. I wonder if it was the same bum or a different bum since I see many in Downtown Diego. It’s so dangerous down there now that I don’t go out after dark anymore.

    1. Thad Gurkin says:

      Well, it sounds like you are a bit cheap

      1. Mary L. says:

        Hey, he said he only had a little loose change left. I think he was being nice…the bum obviously didn’t appreciate it. I stopped helping these people years ago after I helped…helped…helped and STILL saw the same people, day after day, not wanting any REAL help; they want YOUR $ so they can use theirs on alcohol, drugs, motel rooms to do their drugs in, etc. I KNOW THIS IS TRUE.

      2. whateva says:

        Thad, I’m sure you would have given him a crisp $20, right?

    2. Michael says:

      People giving bums money causes the problem of unruly beggars.

  9. James says:

    I used to go to the Starbucks on Hollywood and Western, and I swear, those employees have to be one part barista and two parts social worker. They have to deal with the homeless and mentally ill folks who come up from the Red Line stop across the street, and they have to deal with more crazies from the halfway house (just up Western). They ought to be earning $20 an hour to deal with the customers they get at that location. Sit there for an hour or two any afternoon and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree with me.

    1. Stan Kinder says:

      I really wish we’d go back to the times when there was no tolerance for bums. There are lots of tourist areas that are going to hell because nobody has the balls put an end to this nonsense.

      1. Robert Williams says:

        Don’t feed the animals!

  10. Jazz says:

    To those who say that the clerk should have minded her own. Guess What? It was her business. The cup cost money and so does all of the condiments on the counter. If the store doesn’t make a profit she loses her job.

    You are the same people who complain if the condiment display is not stocked. Every wonder why it isn’t stocked???

    1. Coffed Drinker says:

      Jazz : Every wonder why it isn’t stocked??? cuz they hire these lazy 20 yrs
      kids with attitude ,talk to their friends on cell phones, frustrating customers by not getting the order right, instead tending to the condiment display and filling it up as thier suppose to do…It’s the employee JOB !!!! Do you job and shut your pie hole…

      1. Tired says:

        Dude you need to cut back, the coffee, or ?? is effecting you.

      2. Jason says:

        She was doing her job – she was trying to tell a non-paying customer that they aren’t entitled to use the condiments. I don’t go steal packets of sugar at Starbucks because I’m too lazy to go to the store, and this idiot should have just left when asked not to take condiments with his unpaid water.

      3. Paul says:

        I know a lot of good places where people just come in and steal all the sugars, straws, etc etc.

    2. Karen says:

      Jazz – I’m a regular NICE customer of Starbucks who takes my drip coffee black – so I say that the bum can have the condiments allocated to me.

      1. barista_msn says:

        You’re an enabler. Thanks for exacerbating the problem.

  11. Zapata says:

    F*CKEN CRAZY GRINGOS. Always doing something Stupid!!

    1. Paul says:

      I dunno.. seems like the burning people being hanged from bridges in Mexico tops this one pretty well.

  12. geeM says:

    It’s hard to defend a crazy freeloader, and some of the comments above.

    1. Coffee drinker says:

      GeeM ??? How do you know he’s not a frequent starbucks customer ?? Don’t you come into an establishment and use their restroom without purchasing anything ?

      1. Roger says:

        Why are you defending someone that acted completely and utterly irrationally?

        “How do you know….” Well how do YOU know. You seem keen to play the “what if” game rather than addressing this man’s horrible behavior.

      2. stwebb says:

        Ladies! Settle down! You’re both right! And I do occasionally make a pit stop or two on long road trips!

  13. leroy brown says:

    whats with all the stupid comments about a “customer”? if you go in to any place of business to get something for free or ask for something free. or if you are only there for something free…. you are not a custokmer! get it?

  14. javaman101 says:

    “Downtown Diego”? Yoy have a winter home? Are you for real? Shut the front door, moron!

  15. Putz says:

    If I met MK I would tell the puts to give me all the money they have. He/she is so in fear of offending anyone, the putz would hand it over and then cry.

  16. Aboli says:

    Try this. Buy something or get out of the store you BUM. Its Private Property.
    Different in New York I guess.

  17. Hank Warren says:

    Out-of-control crime, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our rights:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama, vote for Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

    1. Robert Williams says:

      Hell, vote anyone besides obama!

      1. Mark says:

        That’s exactly my sentiment “Anyone but obam 2012”

  18. Bob says:

    To all the bung holes saying the “Customer is always right”…..don’t you have to actually PURCHASE something to be a CUSTOMER? He was not paying for anything, so he was not a customer. I do not see how anyone in their right mind can defend his actions or belittle the employee for doing her job. To call her a “snot nose” when you do not even know her speaks about your level of intelligence.

  19. IG Farben says:

    Where’s the picture of this guy?

  20. MrFair says:

    I think some people are missing the point here. What he did could have disfigured this woman for life. He’s a thug, plain and simple. He had no right to do what he did and deserves some jail time.

    1. ExSophus says:

      Could have also BLINDED her permanently.

  21. J says:

    What if it was a mom and pop coffee shop and their kid serving hot water? Then the bum is wrong? But since it was a Starbucks, he was in the right? Morons.

  22. The Peoples Paradise says:

    As an outsider who has visited LA, Diego, and SFO several times, I am always amazed at the state of CA. What do you Californians expect will happen when you do nothing but raise taxes, refuse to prosecute criminals, and refuse to control your southern border. If that’s how you want to live, don’ be surprised that you’re all broke, and your streets are deadly war zones. The last time I was in LA I couldn’t believe it, might as well be Mexico city. I actually prefer Mexico city, its 100 times cheaper and the people are much nicer! You made your bed, now lie in it. And whatever you do, don’t expect the rest of us Americans to keep bailing you out as your businesses leave and your municipalities go bankrupt. I think CA should secede from the union. you could be free to allow La Rasa to incorporate you back into Mexico! A peoples paradise! Free lunch for all! oh wait…they may not work if we don’t give you more money:)

    1. Karen says:

      Wow. I wish you would write to our Mayor, City Council and County Executives and tell them this. I’ll let you know that many hard working taxpayers in this city agree with you. I wish I could leave but I’ve worked in the entertainment business too long and don’t feel like starting over in another industry.

  23. JM in San Diego CA says:

    If that bum doesn’t get beaten within an inch of his life for this, then there’s no God.

  24. Hervie says:

    Don’t feed the animals. They bite.

  25. Ben says:

    Good for him. About time today’s “men” grew a pair.

  26. David says:

    The actions of this horrible man coupled with so many responses here actually blaming the employee for doing her job tell me one thing. The development of the idea that ” the customer is always right ” has done nothing but create a bunch of self-important, rude and narcissistic people who think they can steal from an establishment and bully the employees. It’s time to go back to ” We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. ” That said, thanks to this jerk and attitudes like those self entitled morons who are blaming the employee expect Starbucks to stop giving away free hot water all together. If I were them, I would.

    1. Devil Cuckoo says:

      Amen brother. Fortunately it looks like pretty much everyone here is sane and decent – it’s only two trolls attacking the girl – but you’re so right about the self-important narcissists. They’re both talking down this girl and criticizing her b/c “She’s not the President of the United states” as though taking pride in your job is a bad thing. I hate that this happened to the girl (and she’ll have little recourse b/c he’s a bum which gives him near godlike status to the sensitive, pony-tail wearing “This is what a feminist looks like ” t-shirt wearing california types – so they’ll be loathe to punish the guy let alone throw the book at him). If there’s any upside though – I’m quite sure there will be a whole host of businesses who would be happy to hire this girl and a whole bunch of people who will be offering to help her out. If I could donate to her medical costs – I won’t hesitate to.

      Anyway, thanks for your post – after reading Coffee Drinker and MFer I lost faith in manking – you restored that faith.

  27. buckbamboo says:

    This guy would be begging for someone to put him out of his misery when I was done with him.

  28. Wilton Knight says:


    A Big Rich Company not wanting to give condiments to a middle class person.

    Hey, that’s what Liberals keep telling us. It’s so hard. There’s such a wealth gap. That’s why anger, crime, rioting, it’s all justifiable.

    Well you Liberals sipping Starbucks, it’s time you paid more, so that people can have free condiments.

  29. Rocco Henderson says:

    This behaviour sounds like that of a drug addict….caffeine?

  30. heatherfeather says:

    Likely a bum…whoops…HOMELESS person scamming free stuff. Who knows what he wanted the hot water for. Anyway, regardless of your feelings toward whether the employee should have commented on him loading up on the extras, he had no right to douse her. Hopefully, she has an older brother who just got back from Afghanistan as an interrogator.

  31. JM in San Diego CA says:

    Bums are nobody’s customers. Bums are leeches on society. They are to be shunned not defended.

    I respectfully direct you to be mindful of the foregoing when you post about bums and their misbehavior (which we are becoming less and less inclined to tolerate).

    PS: You deserve a partial refund on for your ESL tuition.

  32. David says:

    Those of you who think that ” condiments ” at Starbucks means only a few sugar packets, you’ve clearly never been there. There are multiple flavored syrups, coco powder, multiple flavored creamers, etc. In other words, what this guy did is what a lot of deadbeats do when they go to Starbucks, they go in and get their free cup of hot water and then go over and make a hot chocolate or other hot flavored beverage. That’s called stealing, and if you think an employee doing their job and following company policy regarding loss prevention is taking their job to seriously, then you are what’s wrong with society today.

    1. Karen says:

      David – I HAVE NEVER seen coco powder and flavored syrups at the condiment stand at Starbucks.

      I am sad that the bum had to get free stuff in Starbucks.

      I am sad that the bum threw hot water at the employee.

      I wish the employee had called security instead of handling on their own. Their job is to make coffee drinks NOT deal with security problems.

      People need to do their jobs and mind their own damn business. Security should have been called.

      I hope for a speedy recovery.

  33. djdidi says:

    A simple I’m sorry ma’am, thanks for the hot water and make to the nearest exit would of surficed, but i guess with the way the economy is going, alot of people are at their breaking points.

  34. ReConUSMC says:

    This is just more on going of the far left to telling lazy people People.
    Govt. and Rich Others are responsible for their lives .
    60 Years ago . A poor man would have taken the Hot water while thanking them humbly and adding a Tea bag , Instant Coffee or Dry Soup to it and have been grateful .

  35. David says:

    you think that ” condiments ” at Starbucks means only a few sugar packets, you’ve clearly never been there. There are multiple flavored syrups, coco powder, multiple flavored creamers, etc. In other words, what this guy did is what a lot of deadbeats to when they go to Starbucks, they go in and get their free cup of hot water and then go over and make a hot chocolate or other hot flavored beverage. That’s called stealing, and if you think an employee doing their job and following company policy regarding theft or ” loss prevention is taking their job ” too seriously ” then you are what’s wrong with society today.

    1. ReConUSMC says:

      First off the leftist say’s $ 3.75 for a Gallon of Gas is too expensive and greedy by Oil Co.s .is B/S !
      But a 8 Oz cup of Star Buck’s Coffee 98 % water at % 4.00 to 6.50 is a value .
      A man slimy enough to steal “Condiments ” should have a real JOB.
      Not to mention most of them get free Food Stamps and 2,471 over Welfare and Entitlement programs .
      My employees Job is to stop a Thief your moron .
      There are $ 1000.00 suits on the Rakes . It does not mean they are to be taken since they are no guarded .. duh !

  36. Aaron says:

    Give him the death penalty or burn his face like he did the girl in return. She will have to deal with scarring for the rest of her life.

    People like this do not deserve to live.

    1. ReConUSMC says:

      No those that make a Joke out of it are far Leftist ..Obama voters .
      Just for the record the owner of Star Buck’s is a far leftist Green tree hugger .

  37. Netninja says:

    WTH! We have become a socitey of litigeous, impatient, discourteous and uncouth people.
    This is a case where an eye for an eye takes precedence. If this was my daughter my vengence would be without prejudice.

  38. Emma Jay says:

    I used to work at Starbucks when I was in college. I will tell that we had plenty of bums who would take advantage of the “courtesy/complimentary” items on the bar. Over time, the costs associated with such can truly add up, which is why restaurants of all types–not just Starbucks–have established these “paying customers only” policies. These bums would cost us money in other ways, too, such as by deterring customers (via pan-handling on or just off of our property, trashing our restrooms by doing things such as up-ending a Sam’s Club-sized bottle of baby powder over their head, wetting themselves while sitting on our patio furniture, etc). My boss in particular became very aggressive about enforcing our rights as a private business and most of our patrons thanked her for it.

    This man, be he a bum or not, has no excuse for his behavior. It is not his right to enter the cafe and demand to be given something free of charge; Starbucks does this as a courtesy of their own free will and can decline service at any time. Nor is it his or any other customer’s right to take a complimentary item and then proceed to empty the entire hopper of Sugar in the Raw into it to make it sweet. Finally, that poor barista was doing her job when she approached him. I can’t believe anyone rational would think otherwise.

  39. Michael Bardini says:

    This guy needs to be left with a couple of Marines for 15 minutes…wonder what water boarding feels like when the water being used is up to Starbuck’s temperature? BTW: Don’t you need to buy something to be a “patron”?

  40. Conan The Republican says:

    Big surprise. Most Starbucks customers are elite, effete, liberal snobs anyway. “I’ll take a Sumatra Surprise with hand-pumped milk extracted from Indian sacrificial rats, and mule-packed over the Himalayas by a woman named Maria, please. And make that lukewarm, thank you. YES– I SAID LUKEWARM!!!”. Yeah, we know how it works.

  41. Rico says:

    How about executing bigots like YOU, jerk?!?

  42. Between this and the story out of Centereach this week, Starbucks is taking a beating in the press

  43. Jules says:

    Free? I was totally for this action until I read the water was free.

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  45. hobo Hooka says:

    people are crazy
    so sad

  46. JUMACHU says:


  47. Maria DR says:

    This is most likely a homeless person. He asks for a free cup of hot water then probably was stocking up on sugar and honey packets at the napkin/lid counter. The idea that he will be covering her medical expenses is unlikely.

  48. V STANGE says:


  49. RB says:

    As always, my FAVORITE comment… (and I see it all of the time):
    “Your an idiot.”
    LMFAO. Priceless.

  50. rudi says:

    this! post! makes me want to vooomiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!!!!!!!

  51. Angela Talarico says:

    There’s only one important thing to comment about here,and that is the ridiculosly low bail. Now, if indeed the offender is homeless, he won’t be able to post bail and will remain in jail throughout due process, which is where violent criminals should be. And, as horrible as it would be, maybe that’s exactly where he wants to be if he’s homeless. No one would ever want to end up being that desperate. There are too many victim-less criminals behind bars, while too often violent criminals receive a slap on the wrist. Hell, those with money to pay high priced lawyers can and do get away with murder, while the poor can end up falsely accused and on death row. For those decent, honest, law abiding citizens who have ever been falsely accused and ended up behind bars, you know exactly what I’m taking about. The legal and prison systems exist to make money, NOT to ensure “JUSTICE.”

  52. DK1 says:

    It’s totally pathetic that Starbucks would accost him for simply using some free condiments, what a stupid employee. I’m sure he wasn’t thinking the water would hurt her!

    1. April says:

      Your last statement just completely discredited any valid point that you might have been TRYING to make. He didn’t think hot water would hurt her?!

  53. Mellow Out says:

    Everyone comment on here is coming off as angry and bitter. Geez people! Mellow out! The important part is she’s alive and will get past this. There’s a bright side to everything, even after an injury. Reading this gave me a headache.

    1. Mellow Out says:

      Oh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you gave me grief about my typos. lol!