ROLLA, MO (KTVI) – A twelve year-old boy is getting tested after he was stuck with a used hypodermic needle. He and another boy found two of these needles on the side of the road, right in front of Mark Twain Elementary School on Laguille Court in Rolla.
Rolla Police Chief Mark Kearse explains, “Apparently they started playing with the needles is the way I have it, and one of the boys got stuck with a needle. So they threw the needle down.”
This happened Friday. Three days later, they confessed to their parents. The boy who got pricked got tested right away. “Some of the dangers obviously are with a dirty needle, what was it used for, if it was used for heroin, meth, if a person had AIDS that used it, and other types of blood borne diseases, so that’s always a concern,” says Kearse.
Meanwhile, police are also testing the needle for drugs and DNA. So far, no results, but Rolla’s police chief says littered needles are unfortunately nothing new; an easy way to get rid of the evidence of drug use.
“We’ve had them in our parks, on parking lots,” says Kearse, “We’ve had other children find them and play with them. It’s unbelievable that it’s occurring as much as it is, to be honest with you.”
If you find a dirty needle, call police, and if officers can’t pick it up, you can carefully dispose of the needle yourself, by gently placing it into an empty water bottle.
Meanwhile, neighbors are concerned that this issue is so close to home, so close to where kids play every day. Nick Gebel says, “It’s kind of shocking, especially with the school there. I don’t know, I wouldn’t think there’s much drug use and stuff this close to my home.”
The boy’s blood work should be back in a week or two, but he will likely need to be tested regularly to make sure he’s free of any blood diseases. Testing on the needle itself will take longer.