Police: Syringe used in Maryland store attack may have been filled with semen

A Churchton, Maryland, man is accused of attacking a woman with a syringe in February 2020. (Courtesy Anne Arundel County police)

A syringe that a man is accused of using to stab a woman with last week at an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, store may have been filled with semen, police said Friday.

Thomas Stemen, 51, of Churchton, Maryland, was arrested earlier this week and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Syringes found in Stemen’s car and home that have been tested so far contained semen, police told WTOP.

Additional testing is underway to confirm if the syringe used in the Feb. 18 attack inside Christopher’s Fine Foods in Churchton, also contained semen.

Police said Stemen bumped into a woman who was returning a cart at the front of the store, pricking her in the buttock with the syringe. The woman said she felt liquid at the puncture site, and that the man told her, “Ya, it felt like a bee sting, didn’t it?”

The attack, which prosecutors called “absolutely chilling,” was captured on surveillance camera at the grocery store.

After Stemen was arrested Tuesday, police found a syringe in the driver’s side door of his car with a liquid still inside it. Several other syringes were also found inside his home, police said. All of the syringes tested so far contained semen, police said.

The woman continues to undergo treatment — including taking preventive medications. She said the puncture wound grew to about 4 inches in diameter the next day.

Police said it appears the woman was randomly chosen, and that Stemen was caught on video attempting to stab two other women in a similar manner.

Detectives said they believe there may be additional victims who have yet to report similar incidents.

Stemen was ordered held without bond after an initial court appearance earlier this week.

The judge called the case “absolutely bizarre and disturbing.”

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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