Court appearance delayed for suspected Hatteras tire slasher; motive remains unknown

Richard Gregory Perrot [photo courtesy Dare County Detention Center]

The next court appearance for a Dare County man accused of slashing tires on multiple Jeeps and other vehicles along the Outer Banks since July has been continued as the National Park Service continues investigating.

Richard G. Perrot, 62, of East Lake was arrested Aug. 11 after park service officials say they caught him in the act. Perrot has been charged with six federal counts of damaging property in connection with the series of tire slashings at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Slashed rear tire on a red Jeep Wrangler. [NPS photo]

According to court records and testimony, U.S. Federal Wildlife Officer Jay Eddy arrested Perrot after his vehicle was spotted at the parking lot adjacent to off-road vehicle Ramp 23 south of the village of Salvo.

Just two days earlier, the same vehicle was seen at the Coquina Beach parking lot on Bodie Island, where tires on vehicles had been vandalized previously.

Eddy said Perrot backed into a parking spot next to a Jeep Cherokee, opened and closed his doors and then left the scene.

Tires on the Jeep were found with a 1/4-inch wide cut, which matched the damage that has been found on other vehicles since July.

Since the beginning of 2019, at least 66 vehicle tires have been slashed at seashore parking lots. Additional tires have been slashed in the northern Dare County beach towns. The majority of the vehicles that were vandalized were sport utility vehicles.

After pulling over Perrot on N.C. 12 and conducting a search, Eddy said he found a pair of small pocket knives in Perrot’s possession with a blade size that matched the cut in the vandalized tires.

During an Aug. 12 appearance at the federal courthouse in Elizabeth City, Perrot said “I absolutely do not know what he is talking about. I backed in to the spot, got out and saw I was too close to the next spot and just left.”

Perrot is on supervised release awaiting trial, and has been ordered to stay off Department of Interior property until the case is resolved.

And while additional charges are pending, the nature of the current charges would limit Perrot from being held in lieu of a large bond or other custody orders.

A motive for the crime remains unknown.

A new arraignment date had not been set as of Thursday afternoon.

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