Boulder police arrested two men Wednesday who they say sprayed a woman and a group of fraternity members with bear repellent while riding on a scooter, then crashed when the spray blew back on them.
At about 8:30 p.m., officers driving along 17th Street were waved down at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house, 911 17th St. According to a police report, officers said the fraternity lawn was “complete chaos,” with 10 to 15 members out on the lawn, many in noticeable pain. The members said two men on a scooter had sprayed them with something while they were driving by, according to the report.
Officers saw the scooter crash nearby and arrested two men, later identified as Stephen Armbruster and Robert McManus, both 21.
Other Boulder officers also responded to a nearby house where a woman said someone sprayed something at her while she was in her living room, causing her to cough and choke. She locked herself in the bathroom and called police.
McManus, who said he was the passenger on the scooter, told police he had put out some special red, white and blue letters in front of the Sig Ep fraternity July 3. One of the letters was stolen July 4, and McManus said some friends recovered the letter on the porch of a house somewhere in the 900 block of 17th Street.
After drinking all day at the Boulder Reservoir, McManus told police he and Armbruster decided to seek “retribution” for the theft, according to the report. McManus said they were not certain who had stolen the letter, so McManus sprayed inside the woman’s house, which he said he thought was empty, according to the report.
McManus then said they drove by the fraternity and sprayed a group of members standing outside on the lawn. But McManus said the wind changed direction and hit them, causing Armbruster to crash the scooter.
Police also found what they believed to be rum and cola in a water bottle on the scooter.
McManus was arrested on suspicion of three counts of second-degree assault and one count of burglary. He remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $1,500 bond.
Armbruster was arrested on suspicion of DUI and accessory to a felony. He remains in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $1,000 bond.
Both are due in court July 10 for filing of charges.