|A shopper at a Zellers store in Sherbrooke, Quebec, was sent to hospital after being pricked with a dirty needle in early May. Police have arrested a 49-year-old man after 24 blood-filled syringes were found in various articles of clothing in stores throughout Quebec's Eastern Townships. (QMI Agency)
SHERBROOKE, QUE. - A 49-year-old man with previous criminal charges faces 29 counts of armed assault after dirty syringes were found hidden in clothing in department stores east of Montreal.
Claude Letourneau appeared in a courtroom in Sherbrooke, Que., about 150 km east of Montreal, on Friday. He is accused of filling syringes with his own blood and leaving them hidden in clothing in stores such as Zellers, the Bay and Sears.
Police said it is still unclear if the blood was contaminated.
Cops said Letourneau's DNA matched evidence on dirty syringes found in stores in the Quebec City area 10 years ago.
Letourneau has a criminal history dating back to the 1980s. He spent 35 months in prison after being convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. He has also been convicted for several other charges including theft and uttering death threats.
Eight people since January were pricked by dirty needles hidden in clothing across Sherbrooke. The syringes were hidden in pants, coats and bathrobes.
Letourneau's next court appearance is scheduled for June 14.