Claude Letourneau made his first appearance in a Sherbrooke, Quebec courtroom on Friday. The 49-year-old was arrested on Thursday and faces 29 counts of assault. The Toronto Sun
reports he is alleged to have left 29 syringes, containing blood that was presumably his, concealed in items of clothing. The clothing was in stores such as Zellers, the Bay, and Sears. All stores are located in Sherbrooke and parts of the Eastern Townships.
A spokesperson for the police was quoted by CBC
as saying, "It is with pride and relief we are happy to announce the arrest." The city had previously offered a $5,000 reward in an attempt to find out who was hiding the dirty syringes.
At this time, authorities are unsure if the blood was contaminated.
reports that since January, 25 needles have been found. The last one was discovered on May 24 in the Bay located in a shopping centre in the Eastern Townships. During that time, eight people have been pricked by the dirty syringes that were concealed in the pockets of pants, bathrobes, and coats.
The eight victims are currently undergoing tests to determine if they have been infected.
According to the London Free Press
, Letourneau has a long criminal record beginning in the 1980s and has been convicted of such offences as assault and uttering death threats. He was sentenced to 35 months in the penitentiary after being convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. The CBC
reports Thursday's arrest was the second time Letourneau had been arrested in the past two weeks. His previous arrest was for uttering death threats against a co-worker.
Letoureau was remanded in custody and is due to appear in court again on June 24.