Portland, Maine Taxi Driver ‘Viciously' Stabbed

The motive for the attack is unknown

A taxi driver in Portland, Maine, suffered serious stabbing injuries after a passenger allegedly attacked him early Friday morning. 

Portland police say the driver was stabbed after pulling into the parking lot of PT’s Showclub at 200 Riverside St. at 1:41 a.m. The suspect had taken the cab from downtown Portland. 

Craig Cobbett, owner of 207 Taxi, identified the driver as 60-year-old Joe Kamsyz. Cobbett said Kamsyz had picked up this passenger before, but this time, he seemed different. 

“[Joe] said he did seem kind of whacked out like he was on something,” said Cobbett. 

The driver took the passenger from downtown Portland to a strip club. Police say the suspect muttered something like “I’m going to cut you.” 

“He just attacked the driver from behind,” said Portland Police Lt. Robert Martin. “He cut his throat, directly across. The cab driver was able to put his hand up in defense, and he also received a very significant wound to his hand.” 

Lt. Martin called the attack “completely unprovoked.” Police have not been able to establish a motive. 

According to Cobbett, a bouncer at the club, who was an EMT, quickly jumped in to help. Other witnesses called police and gave them a detailed description of the suspect as he ran away. 

Police were able to arrest 30-year-old Justin Kristiansen in the area of 55 Riverside St. Kristiansen was charged with elevated aggravated assault and is being held at the Cumberland County Jail. 

Cobbett said Kamsyz had to be taken to a Boston hospital for surgery to re-attach his finger. He said the driver is expected to recover, but may never get behind the wheel again. 

He said he would like to find out who the bouncer was, so he can thank him. 

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