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February 14, 2014 at 4:38 PM

5-year prison sentence for man who stalked barista

A 30-year-old man who would not take no for an answer was sentenced to five years in prison for stalking a woman he met at a coffee stand.

David Lainez, of Bellevue, was arrested in June 2013 just four days after his release from jail, where he served a nine-month sentence for harassing the 22-year-old woman, court records show.

King County Superior Court Judge Regina Cahan said the sentence, which far exceeds the 13- to 17-month standard range for the offense, was justified because Lainez’ posed a threat to the community, as demonstrated by his immediate return to stalking his victim.

According to prosecutors, Lainez began stalking the woman in 2011 after buying coffee from her at an espresso stand in Newcastle where she worked at the time.

Although the woman continuously rebuffed his advances, Lainez relentlessly called and texted her, saying he loved her and they were meant to be together, according to court documents and the woman’s family.

One time he chased her through the parking lot of the espresso stand, then tried to break in the door when she leaped inside and shut it, court documents say.

The woman was so afraid she slipped out the window and ran in a zigzag to a nearby gas station, her mother said.

“She thought he might have a gun,” said Terri Johnson. “She doesn’t know what he is capable of.”

Johnson said during the court hearing that there is no way to overstate the torment and horror of the stalking experience.

She said her daughter, who did not attend the hearing, moved back in with her family after the stalking began.

She was afraid to be alone in the house and could not walk to and from her car by herself. Sometimes she had to sleep with her mother in order to get any rest at all, Johnson said.

“It has been a mother’s worst nightmare,” Johnson said.

Lainez was convicted of two counts of felony stalking, telephone harassment and violating a protection order, and he served nine months in King County Jail.

Two days after his release on June 25, 2013, he was calling his victim again, prosecutors said in court documents.

In another two days, Lainez tracked the woman to her new job in Renton, a job she took in an effort to hide from her tormentor, according to prosecutor Lakeysha Washington.

The woman tried to hide in the back of the business when she saw Lainez, and then ran into a cooler before calling 911, according to court documents.

When Renton officers attempted to arrest Lainez, he fought and assaulted them, according to court documents.

Police were forced to shock Lainez with a stun gun in order to subdue and handcuff him, court documents say.

Lainez, who pleaded guilty to felony stalking and two counts of fourth-degree assault earlier this month, was brought into the courtroom on Friday shackled, confined in a wheeled chair and accompanied by four jail officers.

After the hearing, Johnson said the torment her daughter has had to endure “is unacceptable.”

Lainez “has hounded her and her family,” she said. “We need peace, and I’m glad the judge gave that to us today.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: barista, Newcastle, Renton


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