A Colorado college student who "glitter-bombed" Mitt Romney faces criminal charges and possible jail time if convicted.
The case against Peter Smith, 20, could set a national precedent for punishing "glitter bombers" who dump glitter on a person in protest. The practice is mainly used by gay-rights activists who target conservative politicians, Reuters reports.
Glitter bomb incidents seem to be on the rise as the 2012 campaign season picks up steam. Smith may be the first person to face possible jail time for a glitter bomb attack, but he's apparently not being charged with assault or battery.
Instead, Peter Smith is charged with creating a disturbance, throwing a "missile," and engaging in an unlawful act on school property for his Mitt Romney glitter bomb, Denver police told Reuters. If convicted of the misdemeanors, Smith could face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Smith admits he tried to glitter-bomb the GOP presidential hopeful at an event Tuesday night. Secret Service agents quickly ushered Romney to safety, and police detained Smith for five hours, Denver's KCNC-TV reports.
Police also searched Smith's car, according to KCNC. That's allowed when a suspect is in custody and police perform an "inventory search" to make a list of all items inside the car. Police can also search a car if they have reasonable suspicion there may be weapons or contraband hidden inside.
As for Smith's charge of engaging in an unlawful act on school property, reports do not specify what that "unlawful act" is. It could be assault or battery -- the intentional, unwanted touching of another. Even something as benign as glitter can suffice for those charges.
Peter Smith remains unapologetic for his Mitt Romney glitter bomb. "I am not sorry that this has caused some publicity and embarrassment for him; no not at all," the University of Colorado Boulder student told KCNC. His next court date is set for March 7.