October 21, 2021

Stabbing victim a bystander in argument

A Cortland man made an incriminating statement to police about stabbing another man Tuesday on a Port Watson sidewalk, claiming the man started the fight, while the man said the confrontation was unprovoked.

“I am sorry for stabbing that guy,” William B. Tompkins told police in a statement filed in Cortland City Court. “I did not know who he was but I was mad that he was sticking his nose in where it didn’t belong.”

The stabbing occurred at 1:45 p.m. outside 77-79 Port Watson St., just west of Cedar Street, show documents filed in Cortland City Court.

Tompkins, 21, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

He used a red-handled folding knife with a 3-inch blade to stab Thad A. Parks in the left buttocks, according to his statement to police. The wound required stitches.

Parks told police he was returning from a walk to buy a sandwich at Bill Brothers Dairy on Tompkins Street and was on the south side sidewalk when he saw a man arguing with a woman.

Tompkins accused him of looking at his girlfriend, which Parks denied, and the two men argued.

“We exchanged some insults and he hit me in my left buttock while we were face to face yelling at each other,” Park said. “At first I thought it was weird because we didn’t have any other contact and his girlfriend stepped in between us immediately. I really didn’t feel like I was stabbed at all.”

Park said he did not know the man or woman before the incident.

He later picked Tompkins out of a group of photos presented by city police.

Tompkins told police he had been arguing with his girlfriend, Michaela Oneill, before the stabbing. They walked from their residence at 101 Pendleton St. to the Speedway convenience store on Port Watson Street, where they argued for about an hour.

They had walked along Port Watson Street and were arguing again on the sidewalk, when Park approached.

Tompkins accused Park of staring at him and Oneill. He said Park asked if he wanted to fight.

“I was scared and I put my red butterfly knife in the right hand and I swung it at the other guy,” Tompkins told police. “I think I hit him in the butt. I was just trying to scare him and make him go away.”