Man charged with trying to kidnap barista after tattoo seen on CCTV leads to arrest
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Featured Image Credit: Auburn WA Police Department
A man has been charged with attempting to kidnap a barista after his tattoo seen on CCTV gave him away to authorities.
Earlier this month, police in Auburn, Washington sent out a call for information on a suspect that tried to snatch a woman working at a Beankini Espresso drive-thru.
Authorities shared the downright terrifying security cam footage, showing the moment a customer reaches through his truck as the barista hands him his change.
At first, it seems like a regular transaction, but out of the blue the man grabs onto the woman's wrists and tries to pull her through the window, while holding what appears to be a looped cable tie.
Thankfully, he didn't succeed and the truck drove off, but it was a close call and officers were understandably determined to track him down.
In a Facebook post on the incident, which unfolded in the early hours of 16 January, the Auburn WA Police Department asked 'for any information to help identify a suspect that attempted to abduct a barista'.
It said: "The suspect seen here attempted to drag the victim through the window using a looped ziptie device. The victim was able to fight off the attacker.
"The suspect has a unique tattoo on his left forearm that appears to read 'Chevrolet'.
"If anyone has any information on the identity of this suspect, please contact the Auburn PD Tip Line at 253-288-7403."
It didn't take long for people to start calling in and, shortly after publishing the post, the force updated it to say: "After overwhelming support from the community, APD has arrested a suspect in this case."
The suspect – 38-year-old Matthew Darnell – is now in police custody after being tracked down thanks to the footage of both his vehicle and his tattoo.
Court documents state that the woman rang the police as soon as she'd closed the window.
Although detectives are still trying to figure out a motive, prosecutors accuse Darnell of 'carefully choosing' the barista as she'd been working alone that night.
Speaking to KIRO-TV, Auburn Police Department spokesperson Kolby Crossley said: "They are in vulnerable positions because they’re usually controlling those spots by themselves at early hours in the morning when it’s dark outside.
"But this barista did an awesome job of protecting herself and fighting this person off."
The probable cause documents also detail how officers searched the suspect's home earlier this week where they found a number of zip ties in his room.
According to The Seattle Times, Darnell's bond has been set at $500,000. The case is ongoing.