The man accused of stabbing a cab driver in Portland last week confessed to police and told them he was angry after someone had called him a name earlier in the evening.

In police reports, Justin Kristiansen, 30, didn’t explain why he attacked the cab driver who was taking him to PT’s Showplace early Friday morning. The driver, Joe Kamysz, 60, suffered cuts to his neck and his hand in the attack, which occurred at the corner of Riverside Street and Larrabee Road as the cab neared the strip club.

Kristiansen was released after posting bail of $10,000 cash Monday. He has been charged with elevated aggravated assault. He wasn’t required to enter a plea during the brief court appearance at which bail was set.

According to police reports filed in connection with the case in Cumberland County Superior Court, Kamysz said he remembered Kristiansen from having previously given him a ride. Nothing unusual happened during the prior ride.

On Friday, Kamysz said he picked up Kristiansen outside an Exchange Street restaurant around 1:30 a.m. Kristiansen said he wanted to go the club, but asked Kamysz to take him to his Pearl Street apartment first, so he could pick up some money.

Instead of money, Kristiansen told police, he grabbed a folding knife from his apartment.

Kamysz told police that he suspected that Kristiansen was on drugs because he was talking very fast.

Kristiansen told police that his anger built after he was called a name while heading to a party after finishing work late Thursday night at Whole Foods.

Kamysz said Kristiansen told him, “I’m going to cut you” as the cab approached the club, then cut Kamysz across the neck. As Kristiansen tried to cut his neck a second time, Kamysz said he put up his hand to block the knife and suffered cuts to his hand.

Kamysz said he accelerated as he pulled into the parking lot of the club, sending Kristiansen sprawling across the back seat. As he pulled to a stop, Kamsyz said, Kristiansen ran from the cab and Kamsyz sought help from club employees, one of whom is an emergency medical technician.

A grainy surveillance still photo from the club included in the case file shows several people standing in front of the entrance and someone running away from the cab.

Kristiansen eventually flagged down police from a nearby gas station, the reports said, to say that he had been stabbed. Police reports said he had a cut on his thumb that was bleeding and also had blood smeared on his face.

He told police that someone had approached the cab and stabbed Kamysz through an open window. Kristiansen said he got out of the cab and then the man came after him. Kristiansen said he pushed the man away, apparently suffering the cut to his thumb, and then ran away.

Later, a Portland police detective interviewing Kristiansen told him that none of the witnesses from the club supported his account of an attack by someone else and only reported seeing him run from the cab. At that point, the report says, Kristiansen confessed to the stabbing and told the detective that he had problems controlling his temper and his anger had been building since being insulted earlier in the night.

The police reports said that Kristiansen told officers that had hadn’t been drinking or taking drugs Thursday night and Friday morning and that he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings five times a week.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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