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Entries in Starbucks (5)

Monday
Oct222012

Murdered Barista Whitney Heichel Was Raped, Shot Several Times

Clint Heichel(GRESHAM, Ore.) -- The young Oregon barista Whitney Heichel. who vanished on her way to her job at a Starbucks, was sexually assaulted before she was shot "multiple" times, according to charges filed Monday against the man arrested in her death.

Jonathan Holt, 24, a neighbor of Heichel and a member of the same Jehovah's Witness church, appeared via closed-circuit television in a Clackamas County court wearing a suicide smock.

He reportedly cried throughout the arraignment, simply answering "yes" to the judge's questions.

Holt was charged with seven counts of kidnap, robbery, sodomy and murder. His case will soon be presented in a grand jury, and additional charges may be filed. If convicted of the most serious counts he could face the death penalty.

He did not enter a plea at Monday's hearing and will continue to be held at a county jail without bail.

"The cause was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner was homicide," Dr. Christopher Young of the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office told ABC News.

The search for the missing 21-year-old woman came to a grim conclusion Friday night when police found her body and arrested a neighbor in connection with her death.

Police found Heichel's body on Larch Mountain, a 40-minute drive up winding roads from her home in Gresham, Ore.

They arrested Jonathan Holt, 24, an acquaintance and neighbor, after a series of interviews reportedly didn't add up and they found his fingerprints and DNA in her recovered car.

Heichel's devastated husband said that he had "bet on forever" with his wife of less than two years and has now been left wondering why anyone would hurt her.

"She's just very kind and loved everybody," Clint Heichel told ABC News in an exclusive interview. "She didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just...why? That's the only question. Why?"

Clint Heichel said that the married Holt lived in his apartment complex, and they attended the same church. Heichel said that he and his wife cared for the Holts' plants and cats when they were away. Two weeks ago, Heichel helped Holt jump-start his motorcycle.

Heichel is grieving the loss of his wife and the future they had planned together.

"It's very difficult, we only had a year and nine months together and when you get married you bet on forever," he said. "She was just a beautiful little person, just full of love, and she was just a ray of light to everybody."

Police have not reported a motive for the killing and have released few details about when Holt may have approached Whitney Heichel or if he had been stalking her.

Heichel was reported missing on Tuesday morning when she did not show up for work at Starbucks, which was just a five-minute drive from her home. Shortly after, her Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot with its passenger-side window shattered.

Her husband reported her missing at 10 a.m., about two and a half hours after she was supposed to report for work.

Heichel's bank card had been used to get gas at two different gas stations within eight minutes, her husband said, and police had been studying a surveillance video from the first station.

A man told police he recognized Heichel sitting in the passenger seat of her car at another station shortly before 9:30 a.m., but said a man was driving.

Children playing outside an apartment building found Heichel's phone in some bushes on Thursday, and their parents knew it was Heichel's immediately because the screensaver showed her picture. It also had text messages asking if she was OK.

Earlier in the week, a search team found tire tracks, broken glass and Heichel's license plate on Larch Mountain, where they would later find her body.

Whitney Heichel's family said that in spite of their profound loss, the support they had received from their community has convinced them that there are "many good people."

"The loving concern from ones that didn't even know Whitney or her family has deeply touched our hearts," Heichel's family said in a statement. "The kind expressions, and support from perfect strangers has confirmed to us that there is much good in people.... And though, while this event in our lives is tragic, we saw the positive effects it has had on this community."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct182012

Police Search Wooded Area for Missing Oregon Woman

Facebook(GRESHAM, Ore.) -- Authorities used red tape to mark where they found broken glass and tire marks in a heavily wooded area in Gresham, Ore., as part of their search for a Starbucks employee who disappeared on her way to work.

It's unclear whether they found any significant clues.

Investigators searched the park in Clackamas County and also Larch Mountain on Wednesday in connection to the disappearance of Whitney Heichel, 21.  She was last seen Tuesday when she kissed her husband goodbye and left for work at Starbucks, a five-minute drive from her home.

Gresham police have called Heichel's disappearance "suspicious" and fear they are in a race against time to find her.

"Right now we have 24 detectives working on it," Gresham Police Department spokesman Lt. Claudio Grandjean said.  "We want to be able to jump on leads we have right away.  The colder those leads get, the more difficult it becomes."

Of the park findings, he said, "I'm not prepared to say that's the broken glass that came from her vehicle, although it's absolutely possible."

Heichel's black Ford Explorer was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot hours after her disappearance.  The passenger side window had been shattered.

Police aren't saying what brought them to search the wooded area.

Heichel's husband, Clint, has said she kissed him goodbye and left for her job just before 7 a.m.

"She got ready, did her normal thing and I kind of woke up and said, 'Bye.  I'll see you when you get home,'" Clint Heichel told ABC News' Portland affiliate, KATU-TV, Wednesday.

Clint Heichel reported his wife was missing at 9:56 a.m. after her supervisor alerted him that she did not show up for work.

"I called her several times," he said.  "I texted her several times and then actually at about 9:30ish, her phone got to the point where you would call and it went straight to voicemail."

Police say surveillance cameras recorded her vehicle pulling into a Shell gas station around 9 a.m. and her ATM card was used.

Her husband said bank records show the same card was used at another gas station minutes later, but police have not confirmed that.

"One at 9:22 and then one at about 9:30, which was kind of odd, both for gas eight minutes apart," Clint Heichel said.  

Grandjean said, "The video is inconclusive in terms of being able to tell who's in the vehicle but we can tell it's the vehicle and we know through bank records it's the car."

Police have not yet released the surveillance video, but they plan on doing a briefing later Thursday morning, according to KATU.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec152011

More Video Voyeurs Target Public Restrooms, Dressing Rooms

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Reports of video voyeurs hiding tiny high-tech, low-cost cameras in public places are rising across the country, and many offenders are getting away with it, or getting off easy.

In October, police said James Allen Risi was caught on surveillance video at a Wal-Mart in Holly Hill, Fla., seeming to place his cell phone camera under an unsuspecting woman's dress. Police said he did the same thing at a nearby Salvation Army thrift store just weeks earlier, aiming the lens underneath the door of a dressing room as a 10-year-old girl changed clothes.

In August, police said Jonathan Willink of Monroe, La., was caught on tape placing a tiny camera in a tanning room at the health club, "Anytime Fitness," and recorded four naked women.

The Yockey family from Norfolk, Va., was on a trip to Washington, D.C., when their 5-year-old daughter said she needed to use the bathroom. When they ducked into a local Starbucks, the little girl spotted a tiny camera under the sink and told her father.

Lindsay Yockey, the young girl's mother, then left the bathroom, told the next woman waiting in line about the voyeur camera, then stormed up to the store manager, who they asked to call the police. The manager tried to offer the Yockeys a free coffee, but the family said they were furious.

Starbucks, with thousands of stores all over the country, seems to be a popular target for voyeurs. ABC's Nightline found at least seven reported cases of hidden cameras discovered inside of Starbucks locations. In one case, a man named William Zafra Velasco pled guilty after videotaping 45 women and children at a Starbucks in Glendora, Calif.

In another, a man named Jonathan Mikio Kennedy pled guilty after being caught on his own camera in Paltz, N.Y.

The Yockeys are now suing Starbucks for $1 million, arguing that the company should have been aware of this problem and should have done more to stop it. When asked how it would be possible for Starbucks to consistently check their bathrooms for hidden cameras, Yockey said they could provide more employee training.

"When you go to the most public restrooms, they have a checklist of items that they have to check to clean off," Andy Yockey said. "Making sure the toilet paper is stocked and what not. I mean, maybe training employees to look in those places -- check air vents, check behind the toilet."

Starbucks has denied any wrongdoing in the lawsuit brought against them by the Yockeys and has said, "we monitor the seating areas and rest rooms in our stores on a regular basis to identify potential safety or security concerns."

Privacy expert John Verdi said companies such as Starbucks need to do much more to stop video voyeurs.

"Starbucks strictly controls the quality of the products that are being sold in their stores. They strictly control the types of furniture and the wall hangings and the music that are played in their stores," he said. "These stores do not typically contain rogue items that just come in and install themselves. But that's exactly what we're talking about with these cameras."

Verdi said the problem is only going to get worse as cameras get more sophisticated and less expensive. A camera small enough to fit inside a toilet paper roll, powered by a 9V battery and streamed live to the Internet, was found in a Starbucks in Oregon.

The other problem is when video voyeurs are caught they are often not severely punished. In many states, voyeurism is only a misdemeanor -- meaning the perpetrator will serve less than a year in jail for the crime. Even if voyeurs are caught videotaping children, they are often not prosecuted for child pornography or added to the sex offender registry.

The person who shot the video of the Yockey's 5-year-old daughter in the Washington, D.C. Starbucks bathroom has not been caught. Her parents said she will not get over this disturbing experience for a long time.

"She's very aware of what happened," Andy Yockey said. "Even now well go to restaurants and she'll ask, 'daddy is it safe?'"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec082011

Oklahoma Couple Weds at Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation(TULSA, Okla.) -- A Tulsa, Okla., couple whose love story started over a cup of coffee looked no further than their local Starbucks when it came time to tie the knot.

“We fell in love over conversations of coffee,” bride Eva McCarthy Capparello said.

The bride and groom, Carmine Capparello, said “I do” this week at their favorite Starbucks, which moved out the displays to make room for the bridal party and 50 guests.

The couple met on a dating site in 2008, but for two years built a friendship online, trading emails and messages. It wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that they met in person -- for coffee, of course -- and clicked.

“We were friends. We would meet up for coffee, talk and talk for hours and hours over coffee,” Eva Capparello said. “We hung out like that until we just fell in love.”

The store, located at 51st and Harvard in Tulsa, closed for the occasion and gave the bride free reign to decorate.

“They took the artwork off the walls and we put up some of our own photos. They moved the displays out,” Eva said. “We still wanted it to be a Starbucks, but with a personal touch of ours.”

Even though it was Starbucks, the bride didn’t skimp on details, choosing to wear the traditional white dress, have a 10-person bridal party alongside them and feature an impressive cake. For the father-daughter dance, they headed out to the parking lot.

“It was amazing,” she said. “It was intimate, comfortable, everything we wanted.”

The newlywed coffee lovers took off for Destin, Fla., for their honeymoon Wednesday morning. Before they left on their road trip, they shared their first official cup of coffee as a married couple.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep222011

Starbucks Barista Fired for Viral YouTube Post

Starbucks(CHOWCHILLA, Calif.) -- A California Starbucks barista was fired from his job after a song he wrote poking fun at some of his demanding customers went viral.

After a stressful day at work back in July, Christopher Cristwell posted "The Starbucks Rant Song" on YouTube. While wearing shorts and what appears to be a Starbucks apron, Christopher Cristwell strums away at his guitar singing an off-key, rapid-fire ode to the stereotypical customers that buy the pricey drinks.

In the rant song, Cristwell takes aim at everyone from the rich ladies who must learn that skinny lattes won't make you lose weight to the angry man that pounds on the window when the store is closed.
According to the former barista, his employer was not amused after coming across the video posted on Starbucksgossip.com.

And while it may have gotten laughs from its intended audience at the beginning, two months later, the chain gave him a pink slip.

"If people are offended by the song, I'm sorry but I can't make everybody happy," says the 25-year-old Chowchilla, Calif., resident.

After being fired, Cristwell says there are no hard feelings. "I think they could have handled it a little differently but I'm not trying to tell them how they should do it. The song did poke fun at people employing baristas. I understand their position," Cristwell said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio