Lafayette man faces charges for allegedly causing explosion during May protest


Robert Lee Perkins (Tippecanoe County Jail)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Lafayette man is facing several charges after police say they have identified him as the man who detonated an explosive device during a protest at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse back in May.

Around 10:30 p.m. on May 31, someone threw an explosive device at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse while officers were inside, according to police. The device exploded, and the crowd dispersed.

Authorities searched through social media for videos of the incident, and found video of whom investigators believe to be Robert Lee Perkins wearing a blue bandanna on his face and lighting a fuse attached to a long, red cylinder outside the courthouse.

(Photo Provided By Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office)

The commander of the Tippecanoe County Bomb Squad said the device in the video appears similar to an M-1000, which can cause significant bodily injury.

On June 5, officers went to a home on Ingram Drive in Lafayette, where they found Robert Perkins and his brother. On his brother’s cell phone, police say they found several videos of Robert downtown on May 31. In one of the videos, Robert was wearing a blue bandanna, and in another video, Robert is seen lighting an object among a crowd, according to police.

Robert was booked into the Tippecanoe County Jail on June 6 and bonded out that same day, WLFI reports.

In August, investigators received social media records of an account believed to belong to Robert. Police say in one message, Robert refers to being “downtown” on the night of May 31.

Based on the evidence collected, Robert Perkins is facing the following charges:

  • Felony attempted arson
  • Felony intimidation
  • Felony criminal recklessness
  • Felony rioting

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