Ithaca N.Y. – Shortly after they laid down to watch TV around 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 29, two Ithaca residents had their quiet night interrupted by the sound of glass shattering.

Fearing it was a broken window of their home at the Parkside Gardens, a man in the house walked down the steps with a hammer in hand to investigate.

“Once I got downstairs, I could hear someone kicking at my back door,” the resident later told police, according to city court records reviewed on Friday.

As the trim to which the lock was attached began to separate from the wall, the resident braced for what he would find on the other side of the door. Then, with a kick, the foot detached the door’s lock.

Entering was Randolph J. Black, 40, according to the Ithaca Police Department police records. (Black would later be arrested and charged with robbery.)

Apparently not expecting anyone to be home, the intruder stopped at the edge of the doorway and looked at the homeowner “dumbfounded,” the resident, 57, told police.

Taking advantage of the pause, the resident leaped at the man entering his home and pushed him outside. From outside, Black said he would be “right back,” according to records.

The resident returned upstairs, telling the second resident to remain in the bedroom.

Upon returning downstairs, the man found that Black had returned, records show. This time, Black held a blade that the resident described to police as three-feet in length.

“The male swung the knife at me and then I swung the hammer I had at the male,” the resident said, according to police.

Both swings missed their targets in the struggle.

Records show the intruder then grabbed a cell phone lying on the living room table and ran out of the home. Police were then called.

Shortly after being called to the scene, Ithaca police identified and arrested Black in connection with the incident.

He has been charged with two felony counts: one for third-degree robbery and one for first-degree burglary.

No word yet on his court date.


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Jeff Stein

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