Ithaca, N.Y. — An Ithaca man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in state prison for the knifepoint robbery of an employee at Cornell’s Synapsis Café in Weill Hall.

Rishawn Vieweg, 26, will also receive five years of post-release supervision, Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson said in a statement.

Vieweg had been convicted of one previous violent felony. The 10 year sentence, which included a concurrent sentence of 3.5 to 7 years for criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, is the minimum sentence allowable for a predicate violent felon.

Prosecutors had requested 20 years of incarceration, double the sentence Vieweg received. The district attorney criticized John C. Rowley’s decision.

“Violent felony offenders who have had the benefit of jail alternative, but still engage in violent crime do not — in any view — deserve the minimum sentence,” Wilkinson said.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of Nov. 19, 2013, when Vieweg entered Synapsis Café wearing a scarf and hoodie that covered his face, threatened an employee with a knife and demand that she turn over money.

Related: Part I — Former Cornell employee attacked, robbed cafe where he once worked

Related: Part II — SU Prof helps foil robbery

The employee complied, at which point Vieweg led her to an elevator and told her he was taking her to the basement. She ran from Vieweg, yelling for help, according to court documents.

Vieweg fled toward Cornell’s Plant Science Building, but was stopped by a Cornell University Police Officer, and all of the stolen money was recovered.

The investigation of the robbery was conducted by the Cornell University Police Department and the case prosecution of the case was handled by Deputy District Attorney Andrew Bonavia and Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama.

Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.