Lafayette man who lit fuse, tossed explosive at courthouse during 2020 riot heads to prison
Robert Lee Perkins, Jr., said he was told it was a smoke bomb. Judge doesn’t buy it, calls it a ‘direct assault’ in melee that followed a Black Lives Matter demonstration
A Lafayette man whose bandanna-covered face became one of the lasting images of a May 2020 riot in downtown Lafayette – caught on video lighting and tossing an explosive that blew out two sets of glass doors at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse – will go to prison.
Robert Lee Perkins, Jr., 35, pleaded guilty in October to felony charges of intimidation and rioting for lighting what he said he thought was a smoke bomb. On Tuesday, he faced a recommended sentence of a combined four years in community corrections and on probation.
Tippecanoe Superior 5 Judge Steve Meyer said that wasn’t enough for Perkins’ role in escalating what turned into a night of damage and police-hurled tear gas.