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Churchton man arrested for grocery store syringe attack, multiple syringes found in car and home, police say

This undated photo provided by the Anne Arundel County Police Department shows Thomas Bryon Stemen. Stemen, accused of stabbing a woman with a syringe at a Maryland grocery store, has been arrested. News outlets report Stemen was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, after Anne Arundel County police received a tip about the suspect. (Anne Arundel County Police Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by the Anne Arundel County Police Department shows Thomas Bryon Stemen. Stemen, accused of stabbing a woman with a syringe at a Maryland grocery store, has been arrested. News outlets report Stemen was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, after Anne Arundel County police received a tip about the suspect. (Anne Arundel County Police Department via AP)(AP)

Police arrested a man accused of stabbing a woman with a syringe and found more syringes in his vehicle following an attack at a Maryland grocery store caught on surveillance video, according to court records.

Thomas Bryon Stemen was arrested Tuesday after Anne Arundel County police said they received a tip about the suspect, the department said in a statement. Stemen followed and attempted to stab two other women walking into the store before he attacked the woman shown on video, according to a police report.

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Stemen is being held without bond following a hearing Wednesday morning.

UPDATE: Please watch the attached video and continue to share. This suspect needs to be identified and this victim needs answers to her health concerns. Southern District Assault / Churchton On February 18, 2020 we were notified of an assault that occurred in the parking lot of 5570 Shady Side Road in Churchton. An adult female advised she was assaulted and poked with what is believed to be a syringe while walking through the parking lot. Video surveillance was pulled and a white male approximately 50 years old is seen walking near the victim. The suspect bumped into the victim and you can see an exchange between the two. Medical treatment was sought and a syringe stick, can not be ruled out at this time. Southern District Detectives are investigating and are asking anyone with any information to call 410-222-1960 or the TipLine 410-222-4700. The below photograph is the best picture we have of the suspect at this time and we are asking for it to be shared.

Posted by Anne Arundel County Police Department on Monday, February 24, 2020

Video from the store in Churchton on Feb. 18 shows Stemen following a woman as she returns a shopping cart to the front of the store and bumping into her. Video shows Stemen pulling something out of his pocket and pushing it against the woman’s buttocks and then putting it back in his pocket.

The woman reacts in pain and looks down at her leg as she backs out of the store. The man appears to follow her outside.

The woman asked the suspect if he burnt her with a cigarette. The suspect replied “Ya it felt like a bee sting didn’t it,” according to the police report. The woman said she went home and noticed a small red spot that appeared to be a puncture wound on her buttocks and that she felt a wet substance on her pants after she felt the apparent syringe prick.

The next day there was a large round red area about four inches in diameter and the woman sought medical treatment, she told police. She is now on a preventative medication cocktail for 30 days, according to the police report.

Stemen said he was “doing nothing just standing there” when police asked what he was doing standing behind the victim.

Police reviewed store surveillance video and observed Stemen walking behind two other women and pulled what looked to be a syringe from his pocket. He then tries but fails to get close enough to stab them in their buttocks.

A large syringe with an unknown liquid was found in the driver’s side door of Stemen’s car and several other syringes were located inside his home, according to a police report. The clothes Stemen wore during the attack were also discovered at his house.

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Stemen was charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. It’s unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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