‘Back off, back off’: Meriden man tells police Wallingford stabbing was self-defense

‘Back off, back off’: Meriden man tells police Wallingford stabbing was self-defense

MERIDEN — A city man told police that he acted in self-defense when he stabbed a Wallingford man after the two exchanged words in a bar parking lot over the weekend.

Kristopher Carlson, 23, of 155 Reservoir Ave., Meriden, was charged early Sunday with murder for the death of Ernest Cipolli III, 32, of Wallingford, outside the Corner Cafe in Wallingford at about 10:25 p.m. on Saturday. 

Carlson has no criminal record and has lived in Meriden for two years, according to statements made during Carlson’s initial appearance at Meriden Superior Court on Tuesday. Carlson, a graduate of Maloney High School, cooperated with police by returning to his father’s home when he knew officers were there, said Carlson’s attorney, Jake Donovan. 

“Obviously it’s a horrible situation and it’s affecting him (Carlson) and his family,” Donovan said Tuesday. 

According to the affidavit, Carlson reportedly told police during the interview at his father’s house that he acted in self-defense, using a small green folding pocket knife. 

Carlson said that he told Cipolli, “back off, back off,” while “making a back and forth thrusting motion, consistent with holding a knife while stabbing, with his right hand,” according to the affidavit.

Carlson struck Cipolli in the arm “with something that caused feathers to come out of his jacket,” according to the affidavit, which is signed by Wallingford police Detective Michael Friello.

But witnesses say after stabbing Cipolli once, Carlson chased Cipolli to the side door of the bar, 321 Church St., and allegedly stabbed him two or three more times, according to the affidavit.

Cipolli might have escaped but the door was locked, according to the affidavit. 

Cipolli reportedly started the fight by approaching Carlson’s car and punching Carlson in the torso as Carlson sat in the driver’s seat, according to the affidavit. 

The subject of the dispute between Cipolli and Carlson has not been disclosed. Police have not found a weapon they can link to the stabbing, according to the affidavit.

Carlson is being held on $1 million bail at the New Haven Correctional Center. His case was transferred to New Haven Superior Court, where his next hearing is set for Feb. 9.

If Carlson makes bail, he will be subject to GPS monitoring and a 24/7 lockdown, court officials said. 

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ

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