Woman jabbed with possible ‘dirty syringe’ in grocery store attack

Who jabs a stranger with a syringe?

That’s the question police are trying to answer in Churchton, Md., after a man approached a stranger at a grocery store and seemingly stuck the medical device in her buttocks.

The incident happened near the entrance to a grocery store on the evening of Feb. 18, according to the Anne Arundel County Police Department. The suspect approached the victim from behind while she was returning a grocery cart, and “she was assaulted and poked with what is believed to be a syringe,” police said in a statement last week.

Police released video of the incident on Monday in the hope that someone will recognize the suspect, who is described as a white man in his 50s.

In the video, a woman in a brightly coloured vest can be seen rolling an empty shopping cart into the store and pushing it in line with the other empty carts. She appears to be wearing an employee’s uniform but officials have not said whether she works at the store.

The suspect can be seen following hot on her heels with one hand in his hoodie pocket and the other clutching a cylindrical object at waist height. The man walks directly behind her, pivots and appears to jab the object into the seat of the woman’s jeans.

The woman immediately recoils as though she’s been stung. The man turns back, looks around on the ground, then follows her out of the doors and stands near her. The video does not show him leaving.

Police say the woman sought medical treatment but it’s still unclear what, if anything, was in the suspected syringe.

“This victim needs answers to her health concerns,” investigators said in their statement.

“We need to find out what his motive was with this, what exactly he stabbed this woman with, if it was a syringe,” Sgt. Jackie Davis told local station WTOP. Davis says the woman is now facing a “long, stressful, uncertain road ahead of her,” because she’ll have to undergo extensive tests to learn whether she’s been poisoned or infected with something.

“I feel awful for this victim not knowing what her fate is from this or what the motive was, or what potentially awful diseases she could have if it was a dirty syringe,” Davis said.

“It’s just disgusting.”

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