UPDATE: Churchton Man Who Stabbed Woman with Semen-Filled Syringe Sentenced to 10 Years

September 13, 2021

UPDATE: 9/11/2021: Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced that Thomas Stemen, 52, of Churchton was sentenced to 10 years of active incarceration and five years of supervised probation in the stabbing of a woman with a semen-filled syringe outside of a local grocery store.

The defendant entered an Alford plea to one count of felony first degree assault and one count of second degree assault on June 16, 2020. He must also undergo a substance abuse and a mental health evaluation and receive treatment upon his release from prison.

“The defendant’s actions were truly horrific,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “He intentionally went out into our community with the goal of assaulting unsuspecting women. With this sentence, he will removed from our community for a long time. I am thankful for the citizens who identified him from video released by law enforcement and that the survivors are able to move forward after this senseless assault.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Megan Mickler prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizen of Anne Arundel County.

On February 18, 2020, a female shopper called Anne Arundel County Police to report an assault that had occurred earlier that day in the parking lot of Christopher’s Grocery Store located at 5500 block of Shady Side Drive in Edgewater.

She stated that while putting her shopping cart back a white male bumped into her and she felt a pain in her buttocks. She jumped back and asked the male if he burned her with a cigarette. The male stated, “Ya, it felt like a bee sting, didn’t it?” When she returned home, she observed a small red spot and what appeared to be a puncture wound on her buttocks. She also felt a wet substance on her pants after the assault occurred. Anne Arundel County police officers responded to the location and reviewed the surveillance video which showed a white male walking up behind the victim, pulling something out of his pocket and pushing it against her. The victim then jumped.

The surveillance video also showed the same man lunging at two additional female subjects.

The following day, the victim observed that she now had a large round red area on her buttocks where she was attacked and sought treatment at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Anne Arundel County Police Department released the video to the media in an attempt to identify the suspect. Thomas Stemen was identified by tips from the community and was arrested. Police obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s residence and vehicle.

During the search of the vehicle, officers located a large syringe in the driver’s side door that had an unknown liquid inside. There were other syringes found in the defendant’s residence, including one syringe containing an unknown substance. Also recovered at the home was the same sweatshirt, pants and shoes that the defendant was seen wearing on the surveillance video. The syringes were recovered and sent to the crime lab for DNA analysis and police obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s DNA. The substance inside the syringe found in the defendant’s driver’s side door was identified as semen and a DNA match.

The surveillance video also identified the two additional female victims who the defendant attempted to stab at the grocery store. The defendant plead guilty to second degree assault for his contact with a 17-year-old girl who was not harmed.

The Honorable Stacy McCormack presided over this case.

UPDATE:2/28/2020 – On February 28, 2020 the Anne Arundel County Police Department learned that the substance in the tested syringes was semen. Additional testing and investigation are under way. Detectives believe there may be additional victims who have yet to report similar incidents. This investigation is extremely active additional charges may be applicable. Anyone with any information is asked to call Southern District at 410-222-1960 or the TipLine 410-222-4700.

UPDATE: 2/25/2020 – Thanks to your tips the suspect identified as Thomas Bryon Stemen, 51, of Churchton, was arrested Tuesday, February 25, 2020. Court records show Stemen has pending unrelated charges in Anne Arundel County for domestic violence. He is currently being held on a no bond status.

Stemen is currently charged with First Degree Assault, Second Degree Assault, and Reckless Endangerment.

If you have any further information, please contact the Anne Arundel County Police, Southern District Detective Unit 410-222-1960. You may also call the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700, Metro Crime Stoppers 1-866-7LOCKUP, Download P3Tips APP and Submit Your TIP, or submit by web at www.metrocrimestoppers.org.”

“On February 18, 2020 we were notified of an assault that occurred in the entrance vestibule of 5570 Shady Side Road in Churchton, Maryland. An adult female reported she was assaulted by an unknown suspect with what is believed to be a syringe. Video surveillance from the business was pulled and a white male approximately 50 years old is seen walking near the victim. The suspect leans into, and assaults the victim.

On February 25, 2019 detectives received a tip identifying a potential suspect. Through investigative means, Detectives were able to positively identify the suspect as Thomas Bryon Stemen of Churchton, Maryland.

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 showed a white male approximately 50 years old is seen walking near the victim. The suspect bumps 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.