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Two Ithaca Police Officers Assaulted

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Physical Assault Physical Assault

Ithaca Police officers last Thursday were requested by a local mental health provider to locate a male subject and assist them in serving a mental health order mandating that the subject be transported to a local hospital (9.45 NYS Mental Hygiene Law).

At about 3:39 pm officers located the subject in the lobby of a business in the 100 block of East
Seneca Street.

The subject repeatedly threatened to kill the police officers and
continuously begged the police officers to kill him.

The officers attempted to secure the subject
in handcuffs, to which he punched one officer in the face and attacked another officer causing
them to tumble to the ground.

While on the ground officers repeatedly instructed the subject to place his hands behind his back so he could be secured in custody. The subject did not
effectively respond to multiple taser deployments and instead continued to punch and kick and
scream at the officers to kill him.

While attacking the officers, the subject grabbed ahold of the
butt of one of the officer’s handguns while it was in its holster and told the officers that they
were either going to have to kill him or he was going to kill them.

Officers were able to secure the subject in handcuffs after several minutes of struggling with the subject.
Bangs Ambulance responded and transported the subject to a local hospital pursuant to the 9.45
MHL Order. Two IPD police officers responded to a local hospital for injuries sustained during
the attack. 

The name of the subject is not being released as he has not been charged with a crime at this
time. IPD is consulting with the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office on appropriate

Regarding the attack on IPD officers Chief Tyler stated, “It is no secret that police officers have
a dangerous job. Officers have to prepare to effectively deal with the unknown and the
unexpected, and to do so with professionalism and within the confines of the laws that govern
use of force and subject control. We never know when a simple everyday encounter with
someone can turn into a life or death situation.

Our officers are trained in a variety of tactics in order to protect ourselves and our citizens. In this extremely dangerous incident the dynamics
quickly changed from a casual encounter to deciding whether to use deadly physical force after the offender repeatedly tried to grab the officer’s gun. Understanding the conditions as they were, the officers handled themselves professionally and were able to gain control, preventing a
potentially tragic outcome.

I’m very proud of their actions and I hope this incident promotes healthy discussions on how mental health issues impact law enforcement in our community”.