CHURCHTON, Md. (WJZ) — A judge has ordered a Churchton man accused of stabbing a woman with a syringe at a grocery store last week to be held without bond.
Thomas Stemen, 51, 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.
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He was arrested late Tuesday night and is charged with three counts each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Police said they found another needle in Stemen’s possession and another in his car, but they still don’t know what was in the needle he allegedly stuck Peters with.
Judge Richard Duden III called the case is “absolutely bizarre and disturbing.”
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.'”
Peters said she thinks she was fast enough to keep most of the liquid in the syringe from entering her body, but she’s taking preventative medicine for the next month as a precaution.
Regardless, she’s worried about the potential long-term effects the unknown liquid could have.
“I’m worried about what is in the needle, it could affect me for the rest of my life,” she said. “It really could.”
Despite the incident, Peters said she will continue to shop at Christopher’s.
“Don’t come here and do this in my town. This is where I shop; you’re not going to stop me from shopping here,” she said.
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.