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Police: Syringes Found On Suspect Test Positive For Semen In Churchton Grocery Store Assault

CHURCHTON, Md. (WJZ) -- Anne Arundel County Police said semen was found inside syringes tested after a man was arrested for allegedly poking a woman with a syringe in Churchton grocery store.

Police received the results of what was inside the tested syringes on Friday.

"We are unsure if any of those were the syringe in question," police said, updating their initial release saying semen was in the syringe used in the attack.

Thomas Bryon Stemen, 51, was placed under arrest on Tuesday and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Stemen is accused of stabbing Katie Peters with a syringe at Christoper's Fine Foods in the 5500 block of Shady Side Road in Churchton last Tuesday. Video footage showed the incident happened inside the entrance to the store near the grocery carts.

Thomas Stemen Mug Shot
Thomas Bryon Stemen

The incident happened on Feb. 18 in the parking lot of a grocery store. Police released the video on Monday showing a man walking behind a woman near the entrance of a grocery store near the cart return. In the video, you see the man motion to poke the woman with something as she puts away the cart. The woman motions like she was poked with something sharp and can be seen yelling.


Peters told WJZ she remembered Stemen bumping into her and then feeling something that felt like a cigarette burn.

"He turned to me and said, 'I know it feels like a bee sting, doesn't it?'" Peters said.

On her way home, Peters then began to feel discomfort and found a puncture wound.

"I started driving home (and) it started hurting really bad," she said. "I called my son and said, 'Something's not right, I hope nothing happens. I hope I make it home, I love you.'"

Police said they found another needle in Stemen's possession and another in his car.

"What we're doing now is we need to find out, do additional testing, find out what this victim is up against if she was stabbed with one of those semen-filled syringes," said Anne Arundel County Police Sgt. Jacklyn Davis.

The prosecutor said Peters lived down the street from Stemen and that Stemen had come into contact with two other people but didn't successfully inject them.

The allegations left people in Anne Arundel County in disbelief.

"Nowadays, you don't know what people are thinking," said Christine Mitchell.

Detectives believe there could be other victims.

"If you've seen this video, it's very aggressive, it's very deliberate -- and that makes us think it's not his first time doing this," Davis said.

Peters declined a request for a follow-up interview Friday, saying she was too disturbed by the latest developments in the story.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Southern District at 410-222-1960 or the TipLine 410-222-4700.

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