Suspect in Gruesome Oregon Train Station Attack Believed Victim Was a Robot Trying to Kill Him, Court Docs Say


Koryn D. Kraemer, the 25-year-old man arrested in a gruesome attack at a Gresham MAX platform Tuesday morning, told detectives that he bit the ear off the victim because he believed the man was a robot trying to kill him, according to a court filing in the case.

Kraemer pleaded not guilty to a single count of second-degree assault during a brief arraignment Wednesday inside the secure felony courtroom at the downtown Justice Center.

He will remain in custody without bail pending a later detention hearing. A spokesperson for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said more charges may be added after evidence is presented to a grand jury.

Authorities arrested Kraemer about 2 a.m. Tuesday after they allegedly found him attacking 78-year-old Gary Krussow of Hillsboro at the Cleveland Avenue MAX station. A 911 caller had reported a possible stabbing after seeing a man face-down on the train platform and an attacker atop him.

When officers arrived, the suspect was still “gnawing” at the victim’s face, a probable cause affidavit states. A Multnomah County sheriff’s deputy had to “use force” to get Kraemer off Krussow, but the court documents do not say what kind of force the deputy used.

First responders took Krussow to OHSU Hospital. He was listed in stable condition as of Wednesday morning. His entire right ear was bitten off in the attack and the skin on the right side of his head was “chewed down” to the point where his skull was visible, police said.

During an interview with a Gresham police detective, Kraemer allegedly admitted he had been using drugs, including cannabis, alcohol and fentanyl pills. He initially told police his name was “El Baker” but was later identified using fingerprint technology.

Kraemer told police he knew Krussow was a killer robot “based on the way that Krussow smelled,” the court document said.

Kraemer said he ate “the robot’s ear and nose, but spit it all out on the ground, and that the police saved him by separating him from the robot.”

The court records do not indicate why Kraemer was on the Gresham MAX platform long after the last train of the night. It’s also not clear what Krussow was doing at the station.

Kraemer grew up in the posh New Jersey town of Westfield and attended Ohio’s Oberlin College, where he played goalkeeper on the soccer team as a freshman in 2015, according to Oberlin’s student newspaper and online athletic profiles.

Kraemer told jailers he moved from Georgia to Portland last November and that he had just been evicted from a house in the St. Johns neighborhood. Police said Kraemer was arrested twice in Georgia, but records don’t specify on what charges and did not show any convictions.