Police: Costco customer steals employee vest, sledgehammer; exposes himself to manager

Police: Costco customer steals employee vest, sledgehammer; exposes himself to manager. (Wikimedia Commons, edited by KUTV)

A Herriman, Utah man is facing aggravated robbery and assault charges after a bizarre incident at a Salt Lake City Costco involving a sledgehammer and an act of lewdness.

According to a probable cause (PC) statement, 39-year-old Jesse Armitage approached an employee who was demolishing a display at the Costco at 1818 S. 300 West.

Armitage approached the employee, asking if he needed help demolishing the display. The employee told him that he did not need any help -- and that's when police say Armitage grabbed the employee's vest and sledgehammer, and began destroying the display himself with the sledgehammer.

The employee notified his manager, who repeatedly told Armitage to leave before telling him he was calling 911.

That's when Armitage raised the sledgehammer above his head as if he was ready to attack the manager, the PC statement says.

The manager retreated, and that's when Armitage pulled out his penis to expose himself to the manager before leaving the store. Police say Armitage crossed the street and put the sledgehammer in the trunk of a stranger's vehicle.

Shortly after all of this, police responded to the Squatters and Wasatch Brewery at 1673 S. 300 West (across the street from Costco) where Armitage, still wearing the stolen Costco vest, was aggressively yelling at people.

Officers arrived and arrested Armitage who allegedly told police he had stolen the vest and sledgehammer.

Armitage is already in custody in the Salt Lake County Jail where he is being held on a Board of Pardons hold. He was on parole when the Costco incident happened.