Blue Oak Coffee Roasting front door

The front door to Blue Oak Coffee Roasting after it was smashed by vandals in January.

A man was arrested on Friday for making threats to employees at the Blue Oak Coffee Roasting Company in downtown Bakersfield.

The Bakersfield Police Department said on April 5, officers were sent to 1717 20th Street after getting a report of criminal threats. When officers arrived, they were told by employees of the company that a man threatened to sexually assault them before leaving the area.

Police were able to locate and arrest the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Joshua Harris, on suspicion of making criminal threats.

The week before the incident, owners Bernadette Sebastiani and Cynthia Price spoke with The Californian about issues they’ve had on a regular basis of transients harassing them at the shop.

“We have a lot of problems with the addicts that come in,” Sebastiani said. “It gets really dangerous for us, and it’s gotten to the point where we question whether we want to stay here.”

(2) comments


Blue Oak is a comfy coffee, community center. The owners are so sweet, they won't even install the auto tip generator on their card reading machine. You gotta know they have the tastiest coffee in town. Losing this resource would be terrible for me, and others who might want to pick up a pound of the best in town, or a Women's March hoodie, or t-shirt. Maybe because it is a woman run business, the creeper felt he could assault them with impunity. Civility needed.


Downtown is full of mentally ill Street people with little self control. One filthy man is often seen at Seqoiua around lunch, screaming, taunting, and digging through trash. Yesterday we saw him walking east in a 23rd Street traffic lane. At least Smokey had a sense of common courtesy.

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