Update at 12:25 p.m. — Statements from Ithaca police regarding the second suspect in this case have been added to the story.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca City Court records reveal that a stabbing that happened on Stewart Avenue nearly two weeks ago stemmed from a drug deal gone bad.
Khaliq Gale, 21, turned himself in to police Friday after officials released a photo of him to the public, indicating that he was a suspect in the crime.
Gale was charged with felony second-degree assault and misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
He was initially jailed on $1,000 cash bail of $2,000 property bond, but posted one of the two and was released Saturday afternoon, an official said.
The man stabbed in the leg, Zachary M. Pealo, 27, of Dryden, dictated the following narrative in a statement to police about the Sept. 27 assault:
Pealo said Gale, a man he knew by the nickname Lee, asked to buy marijuana from him.
After arranging to meet near Stewart Avenue, the two began walking toward a red Jeep Pealo was driving.
Pealo said, “I got a weird feeling when we were walking back to my Jeep because Lee was supposed to be alone and he had another male with him with his hood pulled down over his eyes.”
He said the other male stayed behind them as they walked.
When they got to the Jeep, Pealo grabbed a box of marijuana from the passenger side of the vehicle. That’s when Gale snatched the box and ran toward the Stewart Avenue Bridge, with Pealo chasing him. Near the bridge, Pealo caught up with Gale and tried to grab the box back.
“I remember feeling pain in my left thigh that felt like getting kneed in football. I went to my knees, tried to get up, reached down and touched my leg. That is when I saw blood on my hand…,” Pealo wrote.
A law student passing by helped Pealo apply pressure to the wound, and he was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in a Bangs Ambulance. Police said he is expected to recover from his injury.
Gale is scheduled to be in court for a Felony Preliminary Hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said a second man, Pealo’s friend, also chased after Gale and the man wearing a hooded jacket. But the man wearing a hooded jacket allegedly pulled out a gun and threatened him.
Officer Jamie Williamson said Pealo reported that the suspect said, “Hey, you don’t want any part of it. It’s not worth it.” Officers have a limited description of the second suspect and Williamson said Gale has not named or described the person to police.
Police are asking anyone with information about the crime contact them using the following methods:
Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245
Police Administration: 607-272-9973
Crime Stoppers Tipline: 607-697-0333
Email Tip Address: http://www.cityofithaca.org/FormCenter/Ithaca-Police-Department-5/Ithaca-Police-Department-Tipline-47