3 baristas arrested for ‘exhibition and exposure’

EVERETT — Three Everett baristas were arrested Wednesday for allegedly selling customers sexy shows in violation of city adult-entertainment codes.

“We arrested the participants in the act,” Everett police spokesman Aaron Snell said.

The violations are alleged at the Grab-N-Go espresso stands at 2030 Broadway and 333 SE Everett Mall Way.

All three suspects were released from custody Wednesday after being interviewed. They are a 16-year-old from Everett, a 21-year-old from Shoreline, and a 29-year-old from Seattle. Police aren’t releasing their names pending potential charges.

The stands’ owner on Wednesday denied any wrongdoing.

The arrests about 1 p.m. Wednesday were the culmination of a two-month investigation by undercover detectives, Snell said. The investigation began after people lodged complaints with the cops.

The women are accused of breaking the city’s “Adult Cabaret Law,” regarding adult entertainment.

That’s a misdemeanor offense, Snell said. The investigation is ongoing, but there are no indications of prostitution activity so far, he said.

Detectives on Wednesday evening were interviewing the women at the police department, Snell said. It wasn’t immediately clear if they’d be booked into jail.

Detectives had not yet confirmed their ages, Snell said.

“That information will be forthcoming,” he said.

Investigators reported “uncovered exhibition and exposure,” Everett police Lt. Jim Duffy said.

“During the investigation, video surveillance showed that at times coffee or drinks were not served, but shows were paid for and given,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the coffee stand owners were involved, Snell said.

State licensing records show the Grab-N-Go company is based in Everett and owns nine espresso stands and other sorts of food-and-drink establishments locally.

One of the listed owners is the son of Bill Wheeler. Bill D. Wheeler Jr. took over the stands after his father went missing in 2010.

The Wheeler family was at the center of a 2009 prostitution investigation involving baristas performing lewd acts at espresso stands.

Bill Wheeler never was found.

Bill D. Wheeler Jr. on Wednesday told The Herald that he enforces strict policies for his six baristas, including no drug use, and no personal visitors at the stands.

Flashing is not allowed, he said.

“They have to be dressed a certain way,” he said. “Their crotch has to be covered up. They can’t expose their areolas.”

Violation of the rules is grounds for immediate termination, he said.

“I have to be like that,” he said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Spring start set for Broadway apartment complex

The building will be eight stories tall, with seven of those visible from Broadway.

Police presence returns to Edmonds School District

Jacob Hubby is set to walk the halls of Meadowdale High School as a school resource officer.

County budget takes effect without Somers’ signature

The council passed its version with unanimous support and could have overridden an executive veto.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Suspected escort charged with felony assault, robbery

She allegedly told police she shot the man in the head “because he was performing (a sex act) wrong.”

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Lives were on the line

After an estimated 350K emergency calls over 35 years, dispatcher Steve Williams is set to retire.

Most Read