No one will be charged in the stabbing death of a 31-year-old man outside a Denny’s restaurant near the Portland-Westbrook line in 2016. Investigators determined that the dead man was the aggressor in the confrontation and the person who stabbed him was acting in self-defense, Portland police said Wednesday.

Anthony Best of Veazie was stabbed in a confrontation at 1220 Brighton Ave. in the early morning of April 28, 2016, and died from his injuries less than a month later.

Police did not indicate why the determination took two years, or whether that length of time represented a delay of any kind.

“It was a thorough investigation, a lot of work was done on it over the course of the years,” Portland police Lt. Robert Martin said in a statement. “Its hard to put a time-frame on something as serious as a murder that we investigate.”

Police said Best and some friends were involved in an earlier altercation nearby, at PT’s Show Club at 200 Riverside St.

The staff at the strip club evicted Best and his friends because of their aggressive and confrontational behavior. The other parties in the confrontation at PTs waited a short time, in the hope of avoiding another encounter, and then left the club as well, police said.

Police say Best was with his friends in a car when Best’s group saw the other group pull into the Denny’s lot. Best’s group then followed them, police said.

Best confronted the group of two men and two women as they sat in their car, police said.

A fight ensued between Best and one of the men about 1:15 a.m., and during the altercation, the other man stabbed Best several times in the torso. Best was rushed to Maine Medical Center, where he died on May 20, 2016.

The man who stabbed Best then fled with the people he was with, but police found the vehicle and identified everyone involved.

Investigators interviewed everyone who was present, police said.

“The investigation has shown that Best was the aggressor,” police said.

The decision not to charge the man, who has not been identified by police, was made in consultation with the Maine Attorney General’s Office, police said.

No one else involved in the incident has been identified, and Martin declined to answer further questions about the incident.

A message left for a friend of Best’s was not returned Wednesday. Police said previously that Best had two sons.


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