DE SOTO, Mo. – An unwelcome surprise for a DeSoto police officer on Labor Day morning while searching a car: he was pricked by what investigators fear was a used hypodermic needle.
“It just shows you the dangers of the job. You just never know when something’s going to pop up and bite you or stick you as it was in this case,” said DeSoto Police Chief Jeff McCreary.
Police said two men were acting suspicious outside the De Soto Walmart trying to sell items to customers as they walked into the store.
Officers responded and asked for permission to search the suspects' car. The needle was found in the glove compartment. The search also turned up drug paraphernalia and little baggies of suspected methamphetamine
The officer was wearing protective police gloves with extra padding to protect against needle sticks but was stuck just beyond that padding.
It’s still unknown whether traces of any infectious diseases were on that needle.
“We don’t know what its history is. We don’t know if there’s potentially biologic agents that really can affect him, really, for the rest of his life,” McCreary said. “We sent him in for treatment. It’s a long process.”
The officer will undergo periodic blood tests for a year to check for illness.
Felony charges are likely to be filed against the two men, pending lab results from tests on the suspected drugs.