A man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of dousing a clerk with scalding water at a Horton Plaza coffee shop, leaving her with possibly serious burns to her upper body, authorities reported.
Dennis Christopher Lee, 58, entered the Starbucks in downtown San Diego shortly after 5:30 a.m. and asked the victim for a cup of hot water, which the business provides free of charge, according to San Diego police.
The employee, a woman in her mid-20s, complied with Lee’s request, after which he walked over to a condiment table and began taking some items from it, SDPD Officer Frank Cali said. The clerk then approached Lee and asked him not to use the condiments, telling him they were for paying customers only.
At that point, Lee became upset and allegedly flung the hot water at the woman, Cali said. She 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 in lieu of $8,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Monday morning.