At least two customers reported they have been hurt by syringes in a Georgia Walmart over the past two weeks after four reports emerged of hypodermic needles hidden inside clothing.
Authorities said at least four syringes have been found in the Cartersville, Ga. Walmart, though only two have injured customers.
A teenager, 14-year-old Courtney Worthington, said she was jabbed by a syringe on Nov. 22 when trying on pajamas her mother purchased at the Walmart in Cartersville. The syringe was located in the foot of the pajamas and pricked her hand and foot.
I felt something stick me in the finger and I was like, 'what is that'? Worthington told NBC News affiliate 11Alive.
Another woman, Patricia Headrick, was poked by a similar syringe on Black Friday when reaching into a bra package to check a size. Headrick told 11Alive that the store manager advised her to be tested for AIDS and hepatitis at Cartersville Medical Center.
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 told 11Alive. 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 rollercoaster all weekend.
On Tuesday, another woman found a syringe in the pocket of a pair of pants hanging in the same store and immediately alerted a Walmart employee who phoned the police. The woman was not hurt by the needle.
A fourth needle was found in a pair of Hello Kitty socks last week but did not injure anyone. Walmart reported the incident last week but the employee who found it had not reported it immediately. Police apprehended the sock and syringe in a preserved state for investigation.
Sgt. Jonathan Rogers of the Bartow County Sheriff's Office told 11Alive other syringes had been found in the Walmart and surveillance cameras will be viewed to see if anyone who placed them there can be identified. Rogers said the needles were all generic diabetic-type syringes and is unclear whether or not they contained anything.
Will Walmart Pay?
It's been a nightmare since the syringe scare at Walmart for Patricia Headrick.
Headrick, worried about diseases she may have contracted during the incident, told 11Alive that Walmart would not be paying for her medical expenses nor preventative treatment to prevent contracting HIV.
Walmart won't let me talk with them anymore. It's out of Walmart's hands now, Headrick said.
Headrick said she is taking medicine to prevent contraction, which cost her $1,300 out of her own pocket. She will also need to be tested again in six months, as the virus could become detectable then, if she contracted.
I'm just waiting game, Headrick said. I'm scared to death. I don't know what's going to happen.
Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee said the syringe scare was only evident in that Cartersville Walmart and the company will help anyone affected, including authorities in the investigation.
Walmart has reached out to Ms. Headrick, Gee said. If any of our customers were harmed, we will gladly pay for any valid medical expenses.
So far, there have been no other reports of syringes found in clothing in other Walmart stores.