It was the morning after Christmas 2022 when Rachel Holman walked into the Starbucks at 1901 J St. and noticed huge pieces of plywood fixed across shattered windows. Having worked there for six years, she already knew what happened. Frantic texts had reached Holman the day before describing the ordeal: It involved a man who’d broken the café’s windows on several previous occasions coming back, this time with some seriously destructive Yuletide rage. Holman had snapped photos of the earlier incidents. Now, the man’s latest onslaught had basically ruined the whole back section of the store.
Holman didn’t have too much time to dwell on that symbolism as lamps outside were lighting the pre-dawn streetscape. She was opening the café, prepping for the earliest espresso-drinkers, when a stranger suddenly burst inside from the shadows.
“It was still completely dark out, I mean, we didn’t even see the guy walking up,” Holman recalled. “We didn’t know he was there until he was inside our store.”