Georgia police have joined Walmart in investigating four separate incidents in recent days in which customers were pricked by hypodermic needles that were hidden inside clothing being sold at the retail giant.
According to the police report, made available by Smoking Gun, a shopper, Patricia Headrick, was stuck in the hand last Friday after reaching inside a boxed Playtex bra.
A 14-year-old girl was stuck in the finger on Tuesday while trying on a pair of pajamas. When questioned by police investigators if she was stuck anywhere else, the girl told a deputy, “I’m unsure because I freaked out.” The girl was examined by EMS, who responded to the scene. The girl's mother was also stuck trying to remove the syringe from the clothing.
Patricia Headrick told deputies that she was stuck by the syringe while examining a package of Playtex bras. She reportedly went to Cartersville Medical Center and was tested for HIV, AIDS and hepatitis.
"I'm thinking in my mind, you hear all the horror stories about the drug stuff; you pass out, and people can rob you," she said. "Everything started going through my mind. Whose arm was this in; whose body -- was this a used needle; am I going to die based on this being in someone's body? I've been on a roller-coaster all weekend."
Headrick told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution she was prescribed a 7-day supply of preventative medicine that cost $1,300. She said Walmart has initially refused to pay this necessary medical expense. A spokesman for Walmart said they would reimburse the customer for any expenses related to the incident at the Carterville store.
A fourth customer reported to Walmart employees that she had found a syringe in the pocket of a pair of pants, but was not stuck, according to the police report. The syringe, a common hypodermic needle, was collected by deputies as evidence.
"A sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Jonathan Rogers, reported that Walmart officials have discovered hypodermic needles hidden in other clothing items," reports the Smoking Gun. "Investigators are reviewing store surveillance video footage in an attempt to identify who placed the syringes inside the garments."
A Walmart spokesman said the isolated incident has not affected other stores.