Blick, the German-language newspaper, has pieced together a blow-by-blow account of the incident with the aid of witnesses and a reader who supplied a photo taken shortly after the attack.
The bearded suspect, identified as Michael H., who goes by the nickname “Napoleon”, used a bayonet to stab Shaiz F., a 36-year-old Indian man, after a dispute over a chair on the terrace of the Café de l’Ancienne Gare on Tuesday night.
“They were fighting over a small chair,” Yassin Bouzar, 43, told Blick, which on Friday splashed coverage of the story on its website.
After a shoving match, Napoleon picked up his backpack and left the terrace with “Speedy”, his dog.
“Everyone thought the dispute was settled,” Bouzar said.
However, Napoleon walked almost two kilometres to his apartment to pick up what Fribourg cantonal police identified as a collector piece French bayonet.
He returned with the weapon to the café.
“Suddenly he was standing with his bayonet,” a 43-year-old waiter identified as Gilles told Blick.
“He stabbed sharply — once in the middle of the abdomen of Shaiz.”
The suspect then calmly dropped the bayonet on the ground, sat down at a table and coolly lit a cigarette, according to the account.
A reader provided a photo of the injured man being tended on the ground while Napoleon is smoking nearby.
The victim passed out and was taken to hospital for treatment of the serious injury.
His life was later reported to be out of danger.
Cantonal police say the suspect admitted to the attack.
A former children’s book translator who now lives in an artists’ commune, Napoleon was known as a regular in the cafe.
Blick shows a photo him dressed in what appears to be a period costume from Napoleon’s time, with a bicorne hat on his head.
After the attack he posed for a photo wearing a peaked cap.
A friend of Napoleon’s admitted to Blick that he could be “grumpy” but he could never have imagined him stabbing someone.
Police, however, said the suspect was previously reported for property and drugs offences.
He remains in custody while an investigation into the case continues.