FREEVILLE, N.Y. — Two 16-year-old boys have been charged with several felonies after allegedly assaulting a staff member of William George Agency and stealing his car, according to a news release from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 2:45 a.m. Sunday, May 26, deputies assisted by New York State Police responded to George Junior Republic Union Free School at 24 McDonald Road in Freeville for a report that two residents had assaulted a staff member, stole his car keys and then stole the car from the lot.

Deputies found the vehicle crashed on the 400 block of Groton Road/Route 38 in Dryden. While investigating the accident scene, deputies say they saw a second vehicle leaving a driveway nearby on Peruville Road, which they said they followed due to the odd hours and proximity to the crash. Deputies caught up with the vehicle and performed a traffic stop on Lick Street in Groton and found the teens.

Because of their age, the sheriff’s office said it is not releasing any further information about the boys arrested. The first 16-year-old was charged with second-degree strangulation, three counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and second-degree robbery, all felonies. The second 16-year-old was charged with three counts of fourth-degree grand and second-degree robbery.

CLARIFICATION (9:20 a.m. May 28) — A previous version of this story said the staff member was from George Junior Republic. However, it was a staff member of William George Agency. The agency is responsible for citizens outside the school day. 

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.