Maid’s needle poke leads to child abuse charge
An Aspen man is facing a child-abuse charge after a local hotel maid pricked her finger on a syringe while cleaning a room where the man and a 7-year-old had been staying, police said Wednesday.
Jason Sands, 43, was arrested on the misdemeanor charge after police searched the room and found drug paraphernalia and evidence of drug use, said Aspen police Detective Jeff Fain.
“There was no evidence of mistreatment or abuse (of the child),” Fain said. “It was more a concern about the care and well-being of the child.”
The maid was cleaning the room at the Aspen Meadows Resort on May 3 when she poked her finger on a syringe in the bathroom, which was under a towel, he said. The woman grabbed the needle, ran out of the room and told management what happened.
Sands, the 7-year-old and another man were in the room at the time the incident occurred, Fain said. When a manager returned to the room, the second man, who Fain declined to identify because he’s not been charged with anything, said he was a diabetic.
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The manager was suspicious, so he Googled the second man’s name and found newspaper articles that identified him as having been an intravenous drug user, Fain said. The manager then called police and asked them to kick the men out of the room.
By the time officers arrived, however, the second man and the child were no longer present, he said. However, management and other hotel guests said the child had been staying in the room for the past 24 to 48 hours, Fain said.
When officers searched the room, they found cocaine residue and marijuana residue as well as a “bizarre, gummy substance” that didn’t test positive for any drug, he said.
“I have no idea what it is,” Fain said.
Police also found a syringe in a couch cushion that was loaded with an unidentified bright red substance, he said. That will be sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis.
“I can’t even say if that’s a controlled substance,” Fain said. “It could be Kool-Aid.”
Police continue to investigate the second man’s involvement in the situation.
The maid turned the needle over to police and will continue to be tested for any diseases over the next few months, Fain said.
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