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Stabbings and Starbucks: Something in the Brew?


Today is the sentencing date for Jacob Lee Westin, a man who pleaded no contest to stabbing a Good Samaritan unlucky enough to step in between a quarreling Westin and Westin's girlfriend in front of a Glendora Starbucks. There's something that catches the eye whenever you read the juxtaposition of violent crime and the name Starbucks, but it does come up, especially, it seems, where knives are concerned. A few years ago, a student wrote a column in the University of Kansas paper gushing over the summer she'd spent in Washington, D.C., and how much she now loathed her smalltown prairie milieu.

"You can keep your mullets and pasture parties," the woman wrote. "I'll take my stabbings and Starbucks." She may have been on to something there. Of course, Starbucks coffee shops have become a gathering point for people in cities, and they provide an easy reference point in news sound bites. Still . . . Here is a list of knifings in and around Starbuckses.

April 5, 2009 Man robbed, stabbed in Baltimore County, MD. Nonfatal. Source: Baltimore Sun

Jan. 28, 2008 Keith Simpson, an escaped mental patient from the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo goes on an extended crime spree, including the nonfatal stabbing of an elderly Denver woman.  Source: Denver Post

December 22, 2007  Michael Singley critically stabs a man in a Philadelphia Starbucks. Source: Philadelphia Daily News

April 9, 2007 Jeffrey Delgado found stabbed to death behind a Toronto Starbucks by a shop employee. Source: Toronto Star

April 5, 2007 A white supremacist is accused of stabbing a black couple behind a Palm Springs Starbucks. The Desert Hot Springs woman later admits to being an accessory after the fact. Source: Associated Press

November 19, 2006 Three men are stabbed outside an Edmonton, Canada Starbucks. Source: Edmonton Journal (no link -- through Nexis search only)

November 13, 2006 A

man is stabbed twice outside a Van Nuys Starbucks on Coldwater Canyon

and Victory boulevards in a botched robbery attempt. Source: City News

Service (subscription required)

July 25, 2006 Three unprovoked young men brutally stab a man and woman walking together  past a Starbucks in Romford, UK. Source: Brentwood Gazette (no link -- through Nexis search only)

June 25, 2001 Sarah Volp is stabbed in the back by an autistic man as she exits a suburban Sacramento Starbucks. Source: News Review

January 29, 2000

A Vancouver, Canada, Starbucks manager is stabbed to death as he

shields an employee from her knife-wielding, estranged husband. Source: CBC, various


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