A suspected drug-user charged with mugging and injuring U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski was identified because he boasted to friends that he had robbed a senator, according to court papers filed yesterday.
Robert Eugene Perlie, 32, is charged with robbery, battery and misdemeanor theft. The 59-year-old senator was knocked to the ground in front of her Fells Point home Oct. 15. Ms. Mikulski dislocated a finger trying to fend off the attacker, who stole her handbag.
Detectives got a break when a confidential informant contacted them and said Perlie had been "bragging about robbing the senator on Ann Street," court papers said. Ms. Mikulski's home is in the 600 block of S. Ann St.
Police also interviewed a female acquaintance of Perlie who told them that she had confronted him about the robbery and his subsequent boasting, court papers said.
"Robert Perlie stated that there was nothing to worry about because he had torn up the [$120 worth of] traveler's checks" that had been in the senator's purse, the court records said. About $40 in cash was in the handbag.
Ms. Mikulski identified Perlie from a photograph, court papers said. She previously had reported to police that it would be difficult for her to identify the man.
Through an aide, the senator said she did not want to comment yesterday because the investigation is under way.
Perlie was being held yesterday at the Baltimore City Detention Center in lieu of $50,000 bail. He was arrested shortly after midnight Monday in the 700 block of S. Broadway, where he regularly walks the street "telling people that he will watch their car while they go into a bar so they will pay him money," court records said.
The 700 block of S. Broadway is about a block from where Ms. Mikulski was mugged.
Perlie is on probation for March 29 convictions of cocaine possession and resisting arrest.
He also has been convicted in the past of two other counts of drug possession, theft and unemployment insurance fraud.
He is scheduled for four city trials next month to face charges including transporting a loaded .38-caliber handgun, violation of probation, heroin possession, malicious destruction, and theft, court records show.
Charges of robbery and battery -- relating to the July mugging of a Block dancer who was beaten for $260 -- were dropped in September when the victim moved out of state, investigators said.
Detectives said yesterday that they are investigating Perlie in connection with other recent robberies in the Fells Point area.
Court papers said he recently admitted to police that he did "drug rips" -- street slang for the robbery of drug users -- in the Broadway area to support a heroin habit.
His mother, contacted at the family home in the 5600 block of Sagra Road in Northwest Baltimore, declined to comment.
Criminal convictions and pending cases of Robert E. Perlie. All cases in Baltimore City.
1. Oct. 23, 1995: Arrested and charged in the Oct. 15 robbery of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski in front of her Fells Point home.
2. Oct. 8, 1995: Arrested and charged with drug possession. Trial scheduled for Nov. 9.
3. Aug. 27, 1995: Arrested and charged with possessing a handgun in a vehicle on a public road. Trial scheduled for Nov. 20.
4. June 19, 1995: Arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property, theft of value less than $300, being a rogue and vagabond. Trial scheduled for Nov. 1. Because of the arrest, state Division of Parole and Probation officials charge him with violating probation. Trial scheduled for Nov. 8.
5. March 29, 1995: Pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine and resisting arrest. Sentenced to 18 months in prison, with all but three days suspended. Probation time: 18 months. Assessed $135 court costs.
6. Dec. 6, 1988: Convicted of 11 counts of unemployment insurance fraud. Given probation, ending Dec. 6, 1990.
7. Sept. 13, 1988: Convicted of unlawful possession of drugs. Sentenced to a year in prison.
8. May 5, 1983: Convicted of misdemeanor theft and drug possession. Sentenced to two days in jail and given probation ending May 7, 1986.