ITHACA, N.Y. — At about 7 p.m. Friday, the Ithaca Police Department arrested a man who was involved in a fight inside a local business. Police said the man assaulted a person and caused lacerations to their face and extremities, and was spitting at them and others.

The first officer who arrived on scene, at the corner of East Seneca and North Aurora Street, was able to locate the suspect walking nearby. Police said he was harassing pedestrians in the area. In a news release, police said the officer first tried to “gain verbal compliance” from the suspect, but he refused to stop the aggressive behavior and had to be physically taken into custody. Police said the officer who was alone was fortunate to be helped by other people in the area.

The suspect, who police have not identified, was held until officers could apply a “spit hood” because he was continuously spitting at officers, police said. The man was found to have a two-foot-long machete.

Officers said it was clear the man was experiencing “some form of contaminated thought, either due to mental hygiene or substance abuse.” The suspect was uninjured, but police said he was transported to a local hospital for his and others’ safety. No officers were injured.

He was charged with third-degree assault. Sgt. David Amaro said his name is being withheld due to him being transported to the hospital for possible mental health or substance issues.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.