Hot beverages reportedly weapon of choice in alleged assaults in San Francisco 

click to enlarge Two separate incidents at two separate Starbucks in San Francisco involved suspects using scalding hot water as a weapon. - GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Getty Images File Photo
  • Two separate incidents at two separate Starbucks in San Francisco involved suspects using scalding hot water as a weapon.

Three unrelated criminal cases in which scalding water or coffee was used as a weapon are being handled with care, according to San Francisco prosecutors.

Men with apparently hot tempers were recently arrested in connection with unrelated attacks at two Starbucks outlets and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

The latest incident occurred March 31 when a man allegedly poured coffee on the leader of an AA meeting at 20th and Lexington streets in the Mission district. The suspect, 28-year-old Armando Rodriquez of San Francisco, landed in hot water when he was charged with felonious mayhem and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail.

Rodriguez had been known for interrupting and insulting others during AA meetings, according to court documents, but this time he allegedly went too far.

Prosecutors said Rodriguez got up from his seat, poured coffee from a pot into his mug and hurled it onto the meeting leader’s chest. The victim suffered serious blisters, prosecutors said.

Three days earlier, a 31-year-old woman had a cup of coffee thrown in her face at the Starbucks at Geary Boulevard and 19th Avenue in the Outer Richmond district, police said. Marcel Watson, 33, of San Francisco has been charged with one felony count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. He remains in custody on $50,000 bail, according to prosecutors.

When officers responded to the Starbucks, police said, the woman was “crying in pain.” She reportedly told police she had been pulling a small suitcase while walking through the shop and asked Watson to move so as not to run over his feet with the luggage.

Watson allegedly responded by saying “f*** you, I’m not going to move,” and shouted more obscenities before throwing coffee in the woman’s face. He fled on a Muni bus, police said, but was soon arrested.

A witness inside the Starbucks confirmed the victim’s story, according to police. The woman was not seriously injured.

That wasn’t the only wild liquid assault at a San Francisco Starbucks.

More than a month before, police said, a homeless man poured boiling water on a customer at a coffee shop in Fisherman’s Wharf, causing third degree burns.

The Feb. 20 assault reportedly occurred after the customer confronted the transient for allegedly stealing boxes of tea from the shop at 2801 Jones St.

The suspect, later identified as a 44-year-old Michael Collins, fled and reportedly remained on the loose until March 30, when the victim spotted him in front of 502 Jefferson St., police said.

Following an arrest, however, the District Attorney’s Office said the case against Collins was discharged due to insufficient evidence.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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