Arrest made in Recreation Center locker room incident

Bristol Police arrested a 33-year-old man on a disorderly conduct charge after responding to a report of indecent exposure in a men’s locker room adjacent to the pool deck of the Campus Recreation Center on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Robin Perkins, whose address was listed as 15 Meeting St., Newport, is accused of approaching a Roger Williams University student in the men’s locker room at around noon, taking off his clothing and masturbating while looking at the student, according to a police report. The student left the locker room and reported the incident to Recreation Center and Public Safety staff.

The student told police that he had never seen Perkins before and that the man never attempted to physically touch him.

15 Meeting St., Newport is the address of the McKinney Cooperative Shelter, a homeless shelter and transitional housing units for men and women.

Perkins was arraigned in 6th Division District Court in Providence and released on personal recognizance at around 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18.

The university issued a no trespass letter to Perkins, who has no connection to the school.

News of the arrest was announced in an all campus email advisory issued jointly from the Division of Student Life and Department of Public Safety on Feb. 19.

“It’s these high profile, high impact, low probability incidents that happen that make us question what we do,”  said Steve Melaragno, director of public safety. 

“When a campus is open like we have, sometimes people we would prefer not to come here show up.”

Melaragno said that while incidents like this are very infrequent, he is talking with other university officials about what they could do to prevent future issues.   

“I don’t want an isolated incident like this to make people afraid,” Melaragno said. “Unfortunately, things like that will happen in an open society, just like they would in public.”

According to the Clery Report, a report of crime on campus released every year, eight cases of “sex offenses” occurred in 2018.

“We want to have an open campus for residents of the town to use the library or come here for events and things like that,” Melaragno said. “We can have an open campus and remain safe if we all do our part.”