Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: You may want to think thrice before purchasing any items, particularly if you reside within the state of Georgia. Two consumers have reportedly been pricked by hypodermic needles concealed within clothing; a third victim escaped injury when she discovered a broken syringe in the pocket of a pair of pants purchased at the Cartersville Wal-Mart (located some 45 miles northwest of ATL).
Bartow County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Rogers claims the initial incident was reported on Nov. 22, when a woman bought a pair of footed pajamas at the store for her daughter. Msnbc reports that when the 14-year old girl was putting on the pj’s at home, she reported being stuck in her right pinky toe by a syringe. When asked about the appalling and violating experience, the teenager told Rogers she was unsure if she was actually punctured because she “freaked out.”
5 days later, while seeking to examine the dimensions of a bra contained in a box, Patricia Headrick became mortified when a syringe hidden within the container pierced her finger. Upon reporting the matter to the store manager, Headrick was told to seek immediate medical attention, including screening for hepatitis and HIV.
“It’s a waiting game right now,’ Mrs. Headrick told WXIA. ‘I’m scared to death,” she said, expressing the fear of contracting HIV. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m shocked that someone can do this to someone. It’s mean. I don’t understand why someone would do this.”
Sgt. Rogers states that the sheriff’s investigation is in full swing, reviewing store security footage for leads in the case. “We’re trying to identify who may have done that and why they might have done that,” he claims. He reports that neither victim had any “medical issues that we know of,” after the incidents and that the syringes, which were all recovered, appear to have been unused.
Wal-Mart said it was working with law enforcement on the investigation, and taking extra precautions, such as adding staff in the women’s apparel area, Msnbc reports. “We’re committed to getting to the bottom of it,” said Dianna Gee, a Wal-Mart spokesperson. “We do believe it’s an isolated situation involving this particular store.”
As part of their original “commitment,” Wal-Mart had refused to reimburse Patricia Headrick’s $1,300 syringe-related medical bill until a criminal investigation had been completed, but the mega-corp recently changed its tune. A recent AP update reveals that Wal-mart agrees to pay for any valid medical expenses for customers harmed as a result of syringes found in clothing at one of its north Georgia stores.
Syringes have been found inside clothing items on sale at the Wal-Mart in Cartersville four times within a matter of days, including within a pair of Hello Kitty socks and a pair of trousers, which were detected without incident.
In regards to the victims, Patricia Headrick has received treatment for her injury, and plans to repeat all tests in 6 months. Sources report that the traumatized 14-year-old victim was treated at home.
Sgt. Rogers issued the following warning to shoppers:
“You naturally want to be careful putting your hands into places where you can’t see them…Anytime you buy clothing it’s always best to check it and make sure there’s nothing in there to hurt you.”