An Annapolis man is facing misdemeanor charges following an Anne Arundel County Council meeting earlier this month where police say he unleashed a foul odor into the council chambers.
Phillip Ateto, who donned an excrement costume during the May 2 meeting in protest of the council’s Police Accountability Board measures, is charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. The charges each carry a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Police said in charging papers that Ateto, 39, entered the council meeting in street clothes and changed into the costume before his testimony, where he decried the council’s passing of the accountability board bill without including amendments proposed by the Anne Arundel County Coalition for Police Accountability.
After Ateto spoke, audience members noticed an odor and attention became focused on him, police said.
When the meeting was paused due to the smell, police said they spoke with Ateto while he was holding a glass vial labeled ‘Stink Bomb,’ and noted he had spilled the smelly liquid onto himself. The spill was contained to his person, and didn’t touch the seat or floor, police said. Officers offered him medical attention because he appeared unable to breath, charging papers said.
Ateto was escorted out of the chambers and asked not to return. County facilities management aired out the room and the meeting resumed within 20 minutes.
He was served with charging papers two days after the incident, court records say. He did not have an attorney, or a scheduled trial date, listed in court records.