ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca man has been arrested following accusations that he punched and robbed a woman last week.

Raphael W. Brukner, 27, is facing charges after a woman reported that he robbed her after approaching her for help last Friday. The woman told police that Bruckner, who is reportedly homeless, approached her around 1:30 p.m. on East Green Street and asked if he could stay at her residence.

According to the woman, Brucker said he had recently been kicked out of The Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter, after he was documented for following and touching her without consent. While looking up numbers and information on her phone to help Brukner find housing options, the woman said he grabbed the device out of her hands after punching her twice.

The phone case also contained a TCAT bus pass with a $45 dollar value and an EBT card with nearly $140 dollars in food stamps, police say.

IPD officers arrested and detained Brukner the following day on the robbery charge. While in custody at the Ithaca Police Department, officers say Brukner managed to pull his hand from a handcuff and proceeded toward the rear exit of the police department. When confronted about the situation, police said Brukner responded by telling them he “didn’t want to go to jail.”

Brukner has been charged with third-degree robbery and second-degree escape. He is currently in custody at the Tompkins County Jail in lieu of $4,000 dollar cash or $8,000 dollar bail bond.

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.