Using various de-escalation techniques, Des Moines Police officers on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020 responded to a suspicious man waving a loaded gun at North Hill Espresso, located at 20738 1st Ave S. (map below).

Police say that the suspect is a 35-year old man, who was first seen sitting outside the coffee stand shirtless and talking to himself. He eventually entered the small building, waved a loaded pistol around and demanded a “cold, sugary drink.” Despite feeling very endangered, the barista gave the man a bottle of water.

The suspect reportedly told the barista “I’m not gonna kill you,” before ending up being talked by her into moving back outside of the shop, where she then locked the door and left in her vehicle.

A nearby garbage collector saw the suspicious activity and called 9-1-1.

When police arrived, they used extensive de-escalation techniques to disarm, calm down and eventually subdue the suspect.

He was found with a pistol loaded with one round, binoculars, keys, a cell phone and a magazine with additional rounds in it.

Des Moines Det. Sgt. David Mohr told The Waterland Blog that – despite a post on social media – the police report indicates that the suspect never threatened to rape or sexually assault the barista.