Toddler pricked by syringe at a McDonald's in Victoria, B.C.
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:58AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 10, 2018 4:41PM EST
Police in Victoria, B.C. are investigating an incident in which a toddler was pricked by a syringe at a downtown McDonald's restaurant.
Victoria police confirmed the incident occurred at a business on Pandora Avenue 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 crying and discovered an uncapped syringe nearby, police said in a news release.
It's unclear if the syringe contained a substance, but the child was taken to hospital for tests.
Police are now investigating whether the needle was simply discarded, or was placed there with intent to injure.
Wayne Krawchuk, the owner of the Pandora Ave. McDonald's franchise, released a statement saying the business has been in contact with authorities and the family involved.
"As the owner of a local family-friendly business, I am treating this incident with the utmost priority and taking the situation very seriously," Krawchuk told CTV Vancouver.
The McDonald’s is located in a part of town considered a high-traffic area for drug use.
A charity located across the street from the McDonald's, called Our Place Society, provides drop-in services for Victoria's homeless as well as drug users. Its executive director, Don Evans, says he’s upset to learn of the incident.
"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," he said.
Our Place says it does routine checks for syringes not deposited into nearby disposal boxes every day.
"We're going to increase our sweeps and do more so we can try to prevent it from happening," he said.
He added that, “as long as there are people severely addicted to drugs that are living on our street, there will be risks.”
Another needle injury took place in Victoria on Tuesday night. In this case, a woman was pricked by a syringe while walking her dog. The animal noticed a bag on the ground near a garbage can. The woman felt a prick when she grabbed it away from the dog. She opened the bag to find several capped and uncapped syringes.
The woman was taken to hospital to treat her injuries.
It's not known if either incident is connected to other instances of needles being placed around Victoria with possible intent to injure.
In November, police issued a public warning after an uncapped syringe was discovered in a downtown parking ticket dispenser. And last April, a needle was found taped to a handrail in the Yates Street Parkade.
No arrests were made in either case.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Scott Cunningham and The Canadian Press