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Starbucks coffee thrower gets two years in prison
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Jonathan Pease


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Published: 2/26/2010 2:17 PM

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A homeless McHenry County man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for throwing hot coffee into the face of a Starbucks barista who was trying to help calm him through an erratic episode.

Jonathan A. Pease, 28, whose last known addresses were in Crystal Lake and Round Lake, received the two-year term as a result of his guilty plea earlier this month to aggravated battery and criminal damage to property charges stemming from the Nov. 14 incident.

His attorney and county prosecutors agreed on the prison sentence Friday after an evaluation determined he was not eligible for intensive probation.

"They would only accept him if he had a verified address and phone number, and he does not," Assistant Public Defender Jason Majer said.

Pease was arrested after an altercation that began the morning of Nov. 14 when he walked into a downtown Crystal Lake Starbucks in what police described as an agitated state and demanded coffee and a roll.

After a barista gave him a cup of coffee, police said, Pease sat down in the business and continued to act strangely. When a second barista approached him to calm him down, police said, Pease threw his coffee at her, causing first- and second-degree burns to her face, neck an chest.

Police said Pease then stood up and damaged a shop counter until two off-duty police officers in the business by chance detained him.

Court records show that was not the first time Pease had been charged with throwing hot coffee on someone. In 2006, documents show, he was arrested and charged with aggravated battery after throwing hot coffee onto a worker at a behavioral health clinic in Woodstock. He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, was ordered to serve 18 months probation and required to undergo psychiatric treatment.