Ithaca, N.Y. — A Dryden teenager was sleeping in his bed at night when someone entered his room and woke him up.

The teen was hit in the head. His hands were tied behind his back “with something sticky.”

The room had been dark. Then the lights were turned on.

What the teen saw caused him more panic: Two men, one holding a dark, semi-automatic pistol, and the other holding a folding knife with a green handle.

“As I was on the floor after being tied up the guy from by the door came over and put his knee on my neck and held me down,” the teen, 18, later told police, according to records.

The teen could hear the men searching through his dresser, flipping over his bed and finding some of his money. He could hear “the big guy” of the two then leave to search the rest of the house as the smaller one held him down.

That lasted for about 10 full minutes, the teen told police.

“Throughout this whole incident I feared for my life,” said the teen, according to court documents, of the attack on Livermore Road. “I was really scared. I did not know who (these) guys were or what they were doing.”

Court documents from a brutal attack in Dryden and a related one in Lansing have since emerged detailing the extent of the crimes.

Police have arrested Whitley C. Taylor, 32, in connection with that robbery and the second one the same evening. He has been charged with four felony counts: two for second-degree robbery and two for second-degree burglary.

A second person is still wanted in the crimes. Taylor has been sent to jail on $25,000 bail.

Police are looking to speak with this man in connection with the attacks. They have not called him a suspect. This image was taken from the Xtramart in Lansing.

The above photos released by law enforcement are not of Taylor, Senior Investigator Jody Coombes said in an interview. Coombes did not say the person in the photos is a suspect.

“It is a person we’d like to identify and interview,” Coombes said.

A mugshot of Taylor has not been released. The photos of the man were taken in Lansing.

The second attack

Police say Taylor and a second person carried out a second robbery after the one on Livermore Road.

In the second crime, two men on Lockerby Hill Road in Lansing were watching TV when the robbers entered the home wearing black ski masks, gloves, black jeans and black sweat shirts.

Both carried semi-automatic handguns “and they pointed them at us,” one of the victims later told police.

“I told them we didn’t have much money,” the victim told police, according to court records.

The man gave the robbers $150 and three checks, each roughly worthy $1,000. Then the other victim was kicked in the stomach after saying he didn’t have money to give the robbers, according to records.

“My roommate (redacted) didn’t have any money at all and the two … got really mad at us,” the victim told police. “They told us to lay down on our stomachs and to put our faces on the floor and not to look at them.”

The robbers then “trashed the place looking for money and anything else of value,” the victim said.

The robbers left after about 10 to 15 minutes, the victim said.

But neither victim was ready to get up.

“We were both scared, so we continued to lay on the ground for about another 5 to 10 minutes,” the victim told police.

The investigation is ongoing and the identity of the second male subject that was involved has not been identified.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tompkins County 911 Communication Center at 607-272-2444 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 607-266-5420. 

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Jeff Stein

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