A man with a long history of drug and theft offenses and who is due to stand trial in four different criminal cases next month was charged yesterday in the Oct. 15 mugging of U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski.
Robert Eugene Perlie, 32, was identified by an anonymous tipster as the man who pushed the 4-foot-11-inch senator to the ground after a brief struggle in front of her Fells Point rowhouse, Baltimore police reported.
Perlie, listed in court records as standing about 6 feet 3 and weighing 180 pounds, was arrested shortly after midnight in the 700 block of S. Broadway. He is now on probation for possession of cocaine and resisting arrest; his past convictions include other drug offenses, theft and unemployment insurance fraud, court records showed.
He also is scheduled for four separate city trials next month to face charges including transporting a handgun, violation of probation, drug possession, malicious destruction and theft, court and correctional records showed.
Senator Mikulski, who aides said has been too shaken by the attack to discuss it, issued a written statement yesterday saying she has heard "from many friends and constituents with similar stories" about crime.
"I want them to know that I continue to support the 1994 Crime Bill," Ms. Mikulski said in the statement. "I voted for it because it provides for prevention, policing and punishment of crime -- putting more community police officers on the street, setting tough standards for sentencing, and promoting effective prevention measures."
Ms. Mikulski -- who has lived in the neighborhood where she was attacked for more than two decades -- said she looked forward to "justice being done" and thanked city police "for their speedy work and investigation."
Police officials wouldn't disclose much yesterday about how they identified Perlie as a suspect. Shortly after last week's attack, Ms. Mikulski told an investigating officer that she didn't think she'd be able to identify the mugger since the incident happened so quickly.
Sam Ringgold, a city police spokesman, said only that the information about Perlie was obtained from an anonymous source. He wouldn't elaborate. Court records detailing the arrest were not available last night, since Perlie was still awaiting a bail hearing before a District Court commissioner.
The Oct. 15 police crime report said Ms. Mikulski, 59, was returning home about 11:45 p.m. from a late dinner. She had just gotten out of her car near her home in the 600 block of S. Ann St. when a man wearing a blue sweat suit shoved her to the ground and grabbed her purse, the report said.
She tried to push the man away while lying on the ground, but he still succeeded in yanking the purse out of her grasp, police said.
Minutes later, police recovered the black handbag under a nearby car parked in the 600 block of S. Regester St. Missing was $40 and three traveler's checks worth $120.
Ms. Mikulski was treated at Union Memorial Hospital for a dislocated ring finger on her left hand. Yesterday, her left hand was in a sling as she addressed a crowd at the U.S. Coast Guard yard in Curtis Bay, where she announced funding for a new ship-lifting device.
Perlie, of the 5600 block of Sagra Road in Northwest Baltimore, pleaded guilty March 29 in Baltimore Circuit Court to unlawful possession of cocaine and resisting arrest. All but three days of the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation, court records showed.
Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said Perlie never reported to his probation officer as required by law.
On May 3, an arrest warrant was filed charging Perlie with violating probation and authorizing he be held on $5,000 pre-set bail, Mr. Sipes said. On June 19, city police arrested Perlie and charged him with malicious destruction and theft, but he was later released on $7,500 bail.
In mid-August, Perlie failed to appear for a violation of probation hearing in city Circuit Court, but the hearing was rescheduled after his mother reported to the court that her son was "recovering from serious injury," court records showed.
Mr. Sipes said details weren't available on what the injury was. Perlie's mother was unavailable for comment last night.