Crime Watch 8

4 boys ages 12 to 15 arrested in Lafayette after robberies, sexual assault at Columbian Park

An undated photo from Tropicanoe Cove at Columbian Park in Lafaeytte, Indiana. (Photo Provided/City Government)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A 15-year-old boy is facing sexual battery charges, and he and three other boys received additional criminal charges after committing two separate strong-arm robberies at the city’s Columbian Park, Lafayette Police Department said Monday.

The robberies happened at about 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. July 13 at the park, said a news release from Sgt. Ian O’Shields of the Lafayette department. Two victims of the robberies, boys ages 14 and 17, received minor injuries to their faces and had property taken during the robberies. Police did not say where in the park that the robberies occurred.

About 9 p.m. July 14, one of the boys also sexually assaulted a 13-year-old at the park, police said. Again, police did not say where in the park that the assault occurred.

Surveillance footage from the park helped police investigate three incidents and identify four suspects. “On the evening of July 17, 2020, after Columbian Park was closed, the Lafayette Police located and arrested three juveniles while conducting patrols through the park,” the release said. “The fourth juvenile was located the same evening at home and also arrested.”

The three arrested at the park were ages 12, 14, and 15. The fourth juvenile was age 15.

The news release did not name any of the suspects or the victims.

A 15-year-old boy was charged with two counts of robbery, a count of sexual battery, a count of resisting law enforcement, and a count of trespassing.

The boys ages 12 and 14 each were charged with two counts of robbery, a count of resisting law enforcement, and a count of trespassing.

The 15-year-old boy arrested at his home was charged with two counts of robbery, and a count of trespassing.

The popular park, which opened in 1893, includes the Tropicanoe Cove water park and the Columbian Park Zoo. The water park and zoo reopened in June with their capacities limited during the coronavirus pandemic. A new baseball facility is under construction in the park to replace the long-standing Loeb Stadium.

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