WATERVILLE — No criminal charges were filed immediately following a Sunday night stabbing that left a 37-year-old Waterville man in critical condition at a Bangor hospital.

The stabbing, on Sunday night at about 11 p.m., happened after an argument between the stabbing victim and a 48-year-old former girlfriend that police said escalated until it became a physical altercation that spilled over from the man’s apartment to a city street.

“It started as a verbal argument and escalated into a brawl,” Deputy Police Chief Charles Rumsey said.

“When our officers arrived, they observed a large group of people in the middle of Gray Street yelling and screaming at each other,” he said. “There were a number of people in the crowd who had blood on them, and one of the people involved informed us that a male had been stabbed.”

Rumsey said that after the stabbing victim was pointed out to police, he took off on foot and was finally detained on Swan Street nearby. He was taken first to Inland Hospital and then was transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor where his condition was reported as critical on Monday.

The stabbing victim and his ex-girlfriend had engaged in a progressively more heated argument in his apartment at 18 Gray St., unit 5, according to Rumsey. Other people in the apartment became involved and the dispute moved to the street, which prompted a call to police shortly after 11 p.m.

Many in the crowd were described by responding police officers to be “intoxicated, agitated and screaming at each other,” Rumsey said.

The man who was stabbed was on probation for a domestic assault case with conditions that include having no contact with the woman with whom he argued Sunday night, Rumsey said. Probation officers will decide whether to bring the man back to court for a probation violation hearing.

A detective spoke with the victim early Monday and reported that the man did not want charges brought against the man who stabbed him, Rumsey said.

“There is some belief that the stabbing may have been done in self-defense,” he said. “None of the parties are cooperating with us to the extent of wanting to press charges.”

A search of the area near the apartment building led to the discovery of the knife in a nearby vacant lot after sunrise on Monday

Waterville police are conferring with the Kennebec District Attorney’s office to determine whether any charges will be filed in connection with the stabbing.