PHILADELPHIA — A 21-year-old New Jersey man was sentenced to jail Friday for vomiting on another spectator and his 11-year-old daughter in the stands at a Philadelphia Phillies game.
Matthew Clemmens, of Cherry Hill, N.J., pleaded guilty in May to charges of assault, harassment and disorderly conduct and was sentenced to one to three months in jail, two years of probation and 50 hours of community service. The maximum penalty was two years in jail.
Clemmens was taken into custody after Family Court Judge Kevin Dougherty sentenced him, and several family members burst into sobs.
The spectator who was vomited on, Michael Vangelo, said he has not been back to the ballpark since the assault. He also said his daughter refuses to talk about what happened and has said she does not want to go to another Phillies game.
Clemmens admitted he stuck his fingers down his throat and vomited on Vangelo, an off-duty Easton police captain, and one of Vangelo’s daughters at a Phillies-Nationals game on April 14 at Citizens Bank Park.
Clemmens apologized Friday, and members of his family told Dougherty that Clemmens was a good person who made one uncharacteristically bad mistake. Dougherty said he believed Gary Clemmens was sincere in his apology for his son’s behavior, but said the defendant’s apology was “feigned.”
Clemmens and his friend were spilling beer, cursing and heckling Vangelo and his daughters from the time they arrived at their seats.
The police captain’s 15-year-old daughter asked the pair to stop the profanity, and Vangelo complained to security that Clemmens’ friend was spitting, with some of it hitting his younger daughter.
After the friend was ejected, Clemmens was sitting alone behind the Vangelos when he answered his cell phone and said: “I need to do what I need to do. I’m going to get sick,” the prosecutor said.
Clemmens then put his fingers down his throat and threw up on the father, with some vomit splashing onto Vangelo’s younger daughter.
Dougherty also ruled that Clemmens would have to pay Vangelo $315, the cost of the five tickets for him and his family to attend the game in April. Vangelo said he intended to donate the money to the Easton Police Athletic League.