UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): The victim in the theft and fight that took place on the Ithaca Commons Monday afternoon was William Metro, more commonly known as “The Magic Man.” 

Metro said in addition to the previously released description of the incident, which was issued late Monday night by Ithaca police, pellet guns were used in the attack. IPD did not identify Metro as the victim. 

According to Metro, around 3 p.m. Monday he was approached by a group of teenage boys, who he said he is “familiar with” from having his work on the Commons and “have always caused problems for me.” One of the boys asked to see some magic, and the group then surrounded Metro. 

One of the boys stole Metro’s well-known hat off his head and ran away, but pulled out a pellet gun and began firing at Metro while he chased the boy. Metro further alleged that during the chase, three to four others in the group began firing with pellet guns as well. 

While running away with Metro’s hat, the boy’s phone fell and Metro picked it up saying he would give it back if he stopped firing his pellet gun, but after the boys kept firing, Metro threw the phone into Seneca Street. 

No security video has been made available of the incident, but it would seem that there should be footage since it took place on the Commons. The Voice was unable to find a corroborating witness to reference against Metro’s account of how Monday’s incident began. However, eyewitnesses corroborated that they saw Metro being fired upon with what looked like pellet guns by a group of teenage boys numbering over 10, and a fight broke out in the group.

Subsequently, Metro said at least one of the group began punching and kicking him near the Bernie Milton Pavilion—as described in the police’s press release. That is when a bystander intervened and stopped the melee. 

One witness said they couldn’t understand why the kids were attacking “The Magic Man.” 

“He never bothers anybody. He just asks, ‘Do you want to see some magic?’ It was crazy,” they said.

Metro was bruised and was lightly bleeding after the incident, but was able to return his post on the Commons early Tuesday. He told The Voice that he’s filed a report with police, and plans on pressing charges.

Metro, who is running for mayor as a Republican, said his “Metro 4 Mayor” sign was taken during the incident. 

Original Story:

Ithaca Police are investigating a large fight that took place on the Commons mid-afternoon on Monday.

Police stated that they were called to the Ithaca Commons just before 3 p.m. for “a fight in progress involving a group of 10-12 teenage subjects.” The teens were “attempting to steal property from and fighting with another male subject.”

It appears that by the time police arrived, the fight had ended. The victim reported that he had property stolen from him during the fight, and had been knocked to the ground and punched by one of the teenagers—a male subject with a light complexion and heavy-set, according to police. The victim sustained minor facial injuries, the police said.

Police said they are investigating the incident. No video or pictures of the suspect were provided in the police press release, though this post will be updated if they are. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Ithaca Police Department, and those who wish to remain anonymous may do so.

Jimmy Jordan

Jimmy Jordan is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at jjordan@ithacavoice.com Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com