BELLINGHAM - A 17-year-old boy suspected of trying to rape a barista more than a week ago was arrested Tuesday morning, Sept. 4.
Police believe the teen approached the Cruisin Coffee in the 1000 block of Lakeway Drive at 4:20 a.m. Aug. 25. He asked the 25-year-old barista when the stand would open, and she told him she would take his order in a couple minutes.
He then reached into the stand, unlocked the door and shut it behind him. That's when he attacked the barista, groping her, tearing off some of her clothes and pushing her to the floor, according to police. She fought him off and got him to leave. Her injuries didn't require medical treatment.
The suspect was last seen walking across Lakeway Drive to Carl Cozier Elementary School.
A security photo taken at the coffee stand - showing a 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 young man with dark eyebrows, wearing a baseball cap, Carhartt-style pants and a distinctive patterned gray hoodie - was published in local media.
At first, police thought the suspect was in his 20s. But somebody saw the photo and recognized him as a high school student who lives in Bellingham. That person tipped off police. The barista later picked him out from a photo lineup, Young said.
Because the boy is younger than 18, police did not release his name.
He was taken into custody by officers about 11 a.m. Tuesday at his home. He confessed to a crime at the coffee stand, but exactly what he admitted to would have to be released by the prosecuting attorney's office, Young said. No information was released by prosecutors as of Tuesday.
The teen was arrested on investigation of attempted rape.
"What's remarkable is the cooperation from the public," Young said. "This is why we put this information out."
Reach CALEB HUTTON at email@example.com or call 715-2276.