A Kirkland police officer is on paid leave following an investigation into his alleged conduct at three bikini barista coffee stands while driving a city-owned vehicle.
On the morning of Sept. 18, it was reported that a man in a black SUV with an exempt license plate exhibited strange and suspicious behavior at bikini barista stands in Monroe, Snohomish and Everett.
With the investigation completed and information collected from Monroe officers, a follow-up report concluded that it was probable that Lt. Timothy Carpenter from the Kirkland Police Department was driving the black SUV.
Since the initial investigation, Monroe police determined that the registered license plate belonged to the Kirkland Police Department and that the vehicle was assigned to Carpenter.
On Sept. 21, the owner of the three coffee stands signed three trespass warnings against Carpenter — one each for the Monroe, Snohomish and Everett locations. On Sept. 26, Monroe police received the signed trespass notices from Kirkland Police Chief Cherie Harris, and the forms were signed by Carpenter, according to reports.
The Kirkland Reporter reached out to the Kirkland police chief regarding the current status of Carpenter’s position at the department. In response, the Kirkland city spokesperson David Wolbrecht said in an email that Carpenter is on paid administrative leave while the current investigation is in progress.
“The City of Kirkland and the Kirkland Police Department take any allegations of misconduct by one of its employees seriously. To ensure a fair and transparent investigation, the City has engaged an outside organization to conduct this personnel investigation,” Wolbrecht said.
Concluding the follow-up report, Monroe Detective Sergeant Barry Hatch explained none of the testimonies or video evidence acquired from the coffee stand’s owner satisfied the requirements of the crimes considered: indecent exposure, patronizing or stalking.
Jovanna Edge, who owns the three coffee stands, recalled her employees discussing a driver in a black SUV conducting strange behavior within the past year. Edge said during the Sept. 18 incident, the male suspect first approached the Monroe coffee stand around 4 a.m. to 4:30 a.m., according to a Monroe police report.
A barista at the Monroe coffee stand confirmed in the report that while preparing to open the stand, she changed into her work attire, standing behind the refrigerator — an area that obstructed customers’ view of the baristas. While changing, the barista recalled hearing loud music outside. The barista told the presumed customer, “One moment please.”
She noticed a vehicle creeping forward, then stopping at a position that the barista said she knew would likely expose her unclothed. As the barista finished dressing, she reiterated to the customer that it would be one moment. The vehicle continued to idle until she opened the drive-thru window, then the vehicle sped away.
Although the barista never saw the person in the vehicle, she noted the vehicle was a black Ford Explorer with an exempt license plate.
In the police report, a barista working at the Snohomish coffee stand on Sept. 18 said she received a call around 4:30 a.m. warning her about the black SUV. Just after 5 a.m., the vehicle visited the Snohomish coffee stand. The barista confirmed it was a black SUV with blacked-out windows and an exempt license plate.
“When the vehicle drove through, [the barista] recognized it and started yelling the license plate numbers so she would remember and hopefully the surveillance cameras would pick up the audio,” according to the follow-up report.
The barista was confident in the numbers and letters on the license plate, but could not confirm the exact order — she had two different versions. She messaged the license plate information to the baristas working that morning as well as to Edge, her boss. Both the Monroe and Snohomish baristas felt confident those numbers and letters made up the license plate of the black SUV.
Although the Snohomish barista did not report seeing the suspect on Sept. 18, this was not her first encounter with the driver, she told Monroe Police Officer Natalie Michel, who conducted the initial investigation.
She described the man as a thinner white male in his 40s who was bald or had very short hair and lighter-colored eyes. Although the man also visited the Everett location on Sept. 18, the barista was averse to speaking with police.
However, she said in a voicemail to Monroe Detective Sergeant Barry Hatch: “Alls I know is the guy pulled up to the window. When I went to look, I saw kind of a white face and drove off right away. He was there for like two seconds and it happened three different times.”
Before Sept. 18
The Snohomish barista recalled the vehicle approaching the coffee stand on Sept. 11 and April 17, according to her follow-up interview with Hatch.
On April 17, the black SUV conducted his usual pattern of pulling up to the window and then driving off, but this time returned approximately 10 to 15 minutes later, the barista reported.
The barista confronted the man, asking if he was the same driver. The man said yes and explained he had forgotten his wallet. Due to the man’s repeated behavior, she refused to serve him and shut the window, according to documents.
However, this was not his last visit. The barista recalled the man in the black SUV visiting and purchasing beverages.
The man’s behavior progressed from suspicious to uncomfortable. The barista said the man made comments such as “Oh, you’re so sexy, I love that ass.”
After preparing his drink, the barista noticed the man touching himself through his pants — she recalled this action occurring an estimated five or six times. The barista shortly sent an Instagram post video warning other baristas of the man’s behavior.
The Monroe barista recalled the black SUV visiting a month before Sept. 18. She said the vehicle pulled up to the coffee stand, paused, then drove away.