Update at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday — Police have released the names of two people who have been charged in an attack on Ithaca attorney Monday night.
Russell E. Maines, a local attorney, says he left his office on East Seneca Street late in the evening and proceeded to walk to his home on Prospect Street.
While on Hudson street, he told police he was attacked by two men and fought them off.
Police said Wednesday morning that Dakota Higgins Clark and Anthony Higgins are charged with second-degree attempted robbery and second-degree assault. They are both in custody at IPD headquarters and awaiting arraignment at Ithaca City Court.
ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca man says he was walking home on Hudson Street just after 11:30 p.m. on Monday night when he noticed the sound of heavy breathing close behind him.
Russell E. Maines, a local attorney, says he left his office on East Seneca Street late and proceeded to walk to his home on Prospect Street.
Nearly home, while walking uphill on Hudson Street, Maines said he could hear a person behind him, breathing heavily, who seemed to be walking a few hundred feet behind him. At the time, Maines said he did not initially interpret it as a threat, aware that many college students live in that particular area and are typically out late.
“At exactly the moment I thought the heavy breathing seemed to be a little close, I got sucker punched in the back of the head,” he said.
Maines said the punch hit him behind his right ear, and then he heard a voice demanding that he empty his pockets.
Maines reportedly grabbed the person by his shirt and quickly jerked back, causing the two to tumble over a nearby embankment and against a vehicle. At this point, Maines said he felt another person grab at his pocket, demanding the contents and was struck again in the back of the head.
In a voluntary statement, Maines said he grabbed at one of the suspects in self-defense and began yelling “police,” two or three times before the two men fled downhill toward the Commons.
“It happened so fast and it was so dark I was not able to get a description of them,” Maines said. “They were obviously in their 20s and they can’t even take out a 50-year-old man.”
Maines, who sustained minor injuries from the attack, praised the Ithaca Police Department on their response to the incident.
“IPD was absolutely amazing,” he said. “They were prompt, they asked highly intelligent questions and I am overwhelmed by how professional that police department is, once again.”
Acting Police Chief Pete Tyler said the investigation is currently ongoing.