Toddler pricked by syringe at downtown Victoria McDonald's
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, January 9, 2018 10:09AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 9, 2018 6:46PM PST
Police are investigating after a toddler was pricked by a syringe at a downtown Victoria McDonald's restaurant.
Victoria police confirmed the incident occurred at a business in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue, between Quadra and Vancouver streets, on Monday afternoon.
CTV News has since confirmed it took place at the McDonald's restaurant on Pandora.
The parents noticed their three-year-old child began crying and upon closer inspection, they discovered an uncapped syringe, police said in a news release.
The child was transported to hospital to get checked out.
Police are now investigating whether the needle was placed with intent to injure.
The owner of the McDonald's released a statement saying the business has been in contact with authorities and the family.
"As the owner of a local family-friend business, I am treating this incident with the utmost priority and taking the situation very seriously," said Krawchuk. "We have spoken with the family involved, and are also working closely with the local police."
It's unclear if the syringe contained a substance, but it was found in a part of town considered a high-traffic area for drug use.
"It's devastating to hear that a child has been pricked by a dirty needle, and I'm just horrified to know that that happened in our community," said Don Evans, Executive Director of Our Place, located across the street from the McDonald's.
The charity provides drop-in services for Victoria's homeless as well as drug users and says it does routine checks for syringes not deposited into nearby disposal boxes.
"We do regular sweeps every day and Solid Outreach is in this neighbourhood doing sweeps as well, always looking for needles to make sure that doesn't happen," said Evans. "We're going to increase our sweeps and do more so we can try to prevent it from happening, but at the end of the day the solution is we have to help people get off drugs."
Parents in the area were horrified to hear about the incident.
"It freaked me right out when I heard about it," said mom Romy Murphy, who was in McDonald's with her own three-year-old Tuesday. "Who knows where it came from, but pick it up…There's going to be kids there. Just pick it up. It's not hard, it takes two seconds."
It's not known if the incident is connected to other instances of needles being placed around Victoria with possible intent to injure.
In November, police warned the public about an uncapped syringe discovered in a downtown parking ticket dispenser.
Last April, a needle was found taped to a hand rail in the Yates Street Parkade.
No arrests were made in either case.
No further details in the latest case have been released, but police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 250-995-7654 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.