Girls say they may have been stuck with needle
Two high school students believe they may have been pricked by a hypodermic needle during the recent Aspen High School Homecoming Dance in Snowmass, police confirmed late Thursday.
A hypodermic needle was found the night of the dance, said Snowmass Village Police Chief Art Smythe, but it was the type of needle used by diabetics to inject themselves with insulin.
Smythe said the needle was sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis to determine if it was used to inject illicit drugs and, more important, whether researchers can find any evidence of bacteria or other disease-causing agents.
“We’re more concerned, quite frankly, with the disease thing,” said Smythe, noting that “if it was used for illegal drugs, that’s very serious, too, but the possibility of infection is the real concern.”
The needle was found at 10:15 p.m. in a sink in the ladies’ room at the Bedford Ballroom facility, located in the old Snowmass Theater building below the Village Mall, which was the site of the dance on Oct. 7. The Snowmass Conference Center employee who found the syringe immediately called police, who retrieved it and put it in a sealed container.
More than an hour later, Smythe said, AHS principal Kendall Evans called the Snowmass Village Police office to report that two students at the dance had told him they had each “felt they had been stuck with a needle while on the dance floor.”
One felt a prick on a finger and the other on her back or shoulder. Smythe noted that Evans told him a number of girls had their dresses pinned together, and that the sensations the girls reported may have been entirely innocent.
But, Smythe continued, his department notified the Colorado Department of Health and the CBI anyway. He also said that he believed the two students had been advised to undergo medical examinations in the wake of the incident, although he was not sure that had happened.
Police and school authorities are interviewing students about the matter, he said.
The incident has alarmed local high school students, according to a source who asked to remain anonymous. The source was told about the incident by a student, who indicated that it is the subject of considerable comment and concern among the student population.
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