Man gets probation for stink bomb stunt
WEST CHESTER >> A Montgomery County man who helped set off “stink bombs” in three West Chester restaurants during graduation weekend has been sentenced to probation for his part in the stunt.
On Tuesday, Matthew Scott Armentrout, 33, of Green Street, Royersford, pleaded guilty to charges of criminal mischief and conspiracy in the case that left patrons at the restaurants suffering from the effects of noxious fumes from the devices, and restaurant owners out thousands of dollars in proceeds from the busy weekend.
Armentrout was sentenced to five years probation as part of a negotiated plea between the prosecution, led by Assistant District Attorney Bonnie CoxShaw, and his attorney, Steve Jarmon of Malvern.
He was also ordered to pay restitution to the three restaurants involved — $3,760 to Side Bar & Restaurant, $3,000 to Barnaby’s Pub, and $2,500 to Ryan’s Pub. He is forbidden from entering any of those establishments during his probation, and must complete 100 hours of community services.
Judge Patrick Carmody, who accepted the guilty plea and imposed the sentence, also ordered Armentrout to undergo a mental health evaluation and follow any recommended treatment. The two other men involved in the stunt are still awaiting trial.
West Chester police arrested the trio after they were identified as the men who unleashed chemical “stink bombs” in the
restaurants on May 7, the weekend of the West Chester University graduation ceremonies.
Joshua Jeffries, 30, of Bridge Road, Schwenksville, and Steven Smith, 28, of Church Street, Royersford, were the others charged with causing or risking a catastrophe, a second-degree felony; recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and conspiracy for the prank, which caused a serious disruption for the three restaurants the trio targeted.
Two of the men — Armentrout and Jeffries — told Officer Harry O’Neill, who investigated the matter, that they had come to West Chester from Royersford that night for the specific purpose of setting off the stink bombs “to see people’s reactions,” according to police. The men said they had not bought anything at any of the establishments, which were crowded with graduation
weekend revelers, and had only gone to the bars to set off the stink bombs.
O’Neill was able to identify Armentrout, Jeffries and Stevens as possible suspects after checking the identification scanners at the three restaurants and matching names of people who had come in together at approximately the same time. He also searched Facebook pages to see if he could find photos of the men that the bar owners could identify.
In his complaint, O’Neill said he was able to interview both Armentrout and Jeffries, and that the two admitted that they had set the bombs off with Smith. Armentrout said he had used a “Go-Pro” headmounted video camera to film the event, capturing customers as they left the bars.
Jefferies said they had purchased the “stink bombs” online. Such items are available as prank toys, with odors that come from chemicals mixed together and released.