Former operator of T&T bar in Frankford sentenced to prison

Shamus Arms­ted of West Phil­adelphia formerly ran the old T&T bar at Mar­garet and Hawthorne streets. He was con­victed in June of ag­grav­ated as­sault and reck­less en­dan­ger­ment in con­nec­tion with the shoot­ing of two people who were protest­ing out­side his bar. Arms­ted was sen­tenced Wed­nes­day to sev­en to 20 years in pris­on.

The former op­er­at­or of a no­tori­ous Frank­ford bar has been sen­tenced to sev­en to 20 years in pris­on for his role in the 2011 shoot­ings of two people who were protest­ing the re­open­ing of his es­tab­lish­ment.

Shamus Arms­ted of West Phil­adelphia, who op­er­ated the T&T bar at Mar­garet and Hawthorne streets, was sen­tenced on Nov. 7 in Com­mon Please Court, ac­cord­ing to As­sist­ant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Al­isa Shver. He had been found guilty in June of ag­grav­ated as­sault and reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing an­oth­er per­son.

The T&T had been shut down since 20-year-old Chris­toph­er Spence was gunned down in­side the bar on Feb. 19, 2011. His al­leged killer, Tyrese Ford, was 19 at the time.

Neigh­bors, who had long com­plained about un­der­age drink­ing, fights and noise at the corner bar, had vowed days after Spence’s death that the T&T would nev­er re­open. They took to the streets daily in protest when its doors opened briefly weeks later as the Deuces Lounge.

A month after Spence’s death, Arms­ted and two men who have nev­er been iden­ti­fied, drove up to the pro­test­ers, Shver said in a phone in­ter­view on Fri­day. One of the oth­er men was armed with two hand­guns and as he emerged from the car he began fir­ing in­to the crowd of pro­test­ers.

Two people were hit, but no one was ser­i­ously in­jured, Shver said.

Arms­ted was not ac­cused of fir­ing a weapon, Shver said, but a sur­veil­lance tape showed him stand­ing shoulder to shoulder with the armed man, who began chas­ing the flee­ing pro­test­ers as he fired at them. Shver said Arms­ted could be seen calmly go­ing back to his car to wait for the gun­man to re­turn.

Shver said Arms­ted test­i­fied at his tri­al  in late spring that he didn’t know the oth­er two men who had got­ten out of the car with him, and that he had been sur­prised when the shoot­ing star­ted.

Wit­nesses, however, said they didn’t re­cog­nize the shoot­er, which led pro­sec­utors to be­lieve he wasn’t there on his own.

Ford’s tri­al is sched­uled to be­gin Nov. 16 is Com­mon Pleas Court.

The bar is closed for good and its li­quor li­cense has been voided. There had been a plan to re­open the premises as a gro­cery store, but at two sep­ar­ate com­munity meet­ings, neigh­bors said they were op­posed to that pro­pos­al.

  Reach re­port­er John Loftus at 215-354-3110 or

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