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Security guard stabbed with syringe (canada)

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  • Security guard stabbed with syringe (canada)

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    November 20, 2007


    A shoplifter who stabbed a toy store employee with a syringe while trying to escape remained at large last night.

    At about 2 p.m. Sunday, employees at the Toys "R" Us store on Fairway Road saw a man apparently stealing electronics.

    When the man left, a 22-year-old security guard confronted him in the parking lot and tried to detain him for police.

    The suspect then produced a syringe and stabbed the employee in the hand. The suspect, still carrying the syringe, ran south down Wilson Avenue.

    The guard followed and caught him. They struggled, and the security guard was pushed to the ground, injuring his knee, police Staff Sgt. Chris Downey said yesterday.

    The suspect ran off.

    Because of concerns about infection, the security guard was taken to hospital. He was treated for the puncture wound and knee injury, police said.

    Police did not know the victim's status yesterday, but Downey said any time a needle is involved in an assault, the situation is considered serious.

    "When you don't know the history of the user, it can start a whole treatment process over several weeks," he said. "Anytime you've got a breaking of the skin, it's something to be concerned about."

    It can take months to confirm a clean bill of health after a needle prick, said June Armstrong, a public health nurse with the Region of Waterloo.

    Baseline tests are taken once the patient shows up at the hospital or doctor's office, she said, but a second round of tests is usually done six weeks to three months later to confirm an infection has not been transmitted.

    Health-care workers are at highest risk for contracting the most severe blood-borne ailments from needles because they're most likely to be pricked before any blood dries, she said.

    However, diseases like Hepatitis B and C can remain viable in dried blood for days.

    "The big key for this situation is the time (the blood) is out of the body," she said. "Typically, when you find a needle, it's been a while.

    "People always worry the most about HIV. What we know now is it's possibly viable for several hours, but if the blood is dried, the risk is negligible."

    The risk of transmission from a needle prick from a person who has HIV is about one in 300 people .

    The odds increase to one person infected in every 30 cases for Hepatitis C and one in three for Hepatitis B.

    The needle that was used to stab the Toys "R" Us employee wasn't recovered, so investigators don't know if it was clean or used, said police spokesperson Olaf Heinzel.

    "There is certainly a sense of urgency in locating the suspect and the object that was used," he said.

    Officers continued to investigate the case yesterday and were looking into the possibility the suspect was captured on the store's surveillance cameras, Heinzel said.

    Police are concerned for the well-being of the suspect as well and are urging him to turn himself in, he said.

    "If he potentially has a needle in his pocket, we want to make sure that he himself was not injured," he said.

    "We encourage him to come forward but also anyone else who may have witnessed this incident or could identify this individual."

    Police said the man is white, about 40 years old and about 5-11. He has a medium build and was wearing blue track pants and a long-sleeve, grey button-up shirt.

    Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-653-7700, ext.4499, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

    [email protected]


    If you find a needle in a public place or are stuck with a needle from an unknown source, call Public Health at 519-883-2007 or police at 519-653-7700. Never pick up or try to dispose of a needle if you are unsure where it came from.

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  • #2
    This kind of injury really worries me.

    I have had similar incidents, and it's always in the back of your mind that some doctor is going to tell you a few years down the road, "Oh, by the way, you have H.I.V."