Police: Man stabs auto mechanic with screwdriver

Police car lights at night
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. - A man allegedly stabbed an auto mechanic with a screwdriver early Thursday after the mechanic told him to stop smoking near a vehicle that was leaking gas.

The suspect, later identified as Kristofer Thurston-Nickerson, 27, of Bainbridge Island, fled after the alleged stabbing but was later arrested when police found him wandering about two miles away.

Officers were called to the scene, an automotive repair business at the corner of Sunrise Drive and Valley Road, at about 12:35 a.m., said Bainbridge Island police spokeswoman Lt. Susan Shultz.

When officers arrived, the mechanic told them that Thurston-Nickerson had been creating a hazard by smoking a cigarette near a car that was leaking gas.

When the mechanic told him to extinguish the cigarette, Thurston-Nickerson responded violently, stabbing him at least twice with the screwdriver - once in the chest and once in the lower abdomen, Shultz said.

The screwdriver was found at the scene, and the suspect later was found wandering in the area of Day Road and Highway 305.

Thurston-Nickerson admitted to police that he had been in an altercation with the victim but denied stabbing him with the screwdriver.

He was arrested and booked on suspicion of second-degree assault, with bail set at $25,000.