Lexington Man Allegedly Threw Banana Peels at Black Family’s Home
A Lexington man with a criminal past was arrested on New Year’s Eve after he was caught on surveillance repeatedly throwing banana peels at the home of a family of color, police said.
Robert A. Ivarson, 49, was arraigned in Concord District Court on three counts of civil rights violations and one count of criminal harassment after the victims reported between 40 and 50 banana peels on their property within the past year. At the Lexington police station, Ivarson said he merely tosses his banana peels at random houses during his daily walks for exercise, police said.
“The vandalism appeared to be motivated by bias against the resident’s race and typically occurred in the early morning hours,” police said in a release.
Ivarson, who lives with his parents, previously told a detail officer that the family inside the house “was Section 8,” and “had nice cars for Section 8 people,” according to the police report. The family’s 11-year-old daughter told police that Ivarson regularly talks to kids at the bus stop and stares at her.
Police said Ivarson assaulted his then-wife during a domestic dispute in 1997, and was in possession of “numerous firearms” three years earlier, when officers investigated a report that he had fired a rifle. In 2014, Ivarson told a woman at a dog park he was hunting dogs and had a “propensity for bows and arrows,” police said.
A not guilty plea was entered on Ivarson’s behalf. He is held on $10,000 bail and ordered to wear a GPS tracking device upon his release. He is due back in court on February 6.