SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who flung scalding water at a barista in a downtown San Diego coffee shop, leaving her with serious burns on her upper body, was convicted Tuesday of misdemeanor assault and battery charges and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail.
Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III found Dennis Christopher Lee guilty after a two-day bench trial.
Lee, 58, entered the Starbucks in Horton Plaza shortly after 5:30 a.m. on June 16 and asked the victim for a cup of hot water, which the business provides free of charge.
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 items, San Diego police 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 flung the hot water at the woman, burning her on the neck and chest, Cali said.