A Huber Heights mother is upset after she said her daughter was pricked with a syringe found in a children’s toy in a Kettering thrift store.
Siearra Kern said she was shopping in the Valley Thrift Store on Woodman Drive in Kettering last week when her daughter picked up a puppet and was pricked with a syringe.
“I didn’t even know how to react to that situation,” Kern said. “I just knew immediately to get her to the hospital.”
Kern said she and her 7-year-old daughter will have to wait at least a month before blood test results are available. She also says doctors said her daughter will have to have intermittent check-ups for about a year.
Kern said her daughter was initially afraid because she thought she had did something wrong when she picked up the puppet. She said she tried to reassure her she had done nothing wrong.
“There should be no reason why she can’t pick up a stuffed animal at a thrift store and show me or her sisters and not be pricked by a needle,” Kern said. “That should never occur.”
Kettering police officer Matthew Barnes confirmed a needle and puppet were in police custody.
He said he hasn’t been involved with a situation like this, but acknowledged the incident is “serious” and “dangerous.” He also acknowledged there were questions the police department is looking into.
“Did they not check the product, or is this something happening once the product has been put out?” Barnes pondered. “Is this something happening by employees, people shopping in the store? There’s a lot of questions we don’t have the answers to at the moment.”
Barnes said police encourage parents to act like Kern did by seeking immediate medical attention.
“You don’t know if anything’s been in it and if so, what? All you know is that potentially you’ve injected an outside agent into your body,” Barnes said.
Judy Negrete, store manager at Valley Thrift Store, confirmed the incident and said the store is working with Kettering police regarding proper search techniques to find potential threats and to remain safe.
She also said the store tried to be proactive in handling the situation, admitting that she too did not know what to do in that situation.