Dozens of dirty needles found at Kakaako Park

Dozens of dirty needles found at Kakaako Park
Published: Dec. 5, 2014 at 10:30 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM HST
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Used needles found in Kakaako
Used needles found in Kakaako
Used needles found in Kakaako
Used needles found in Kakaako

KAKAAKO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A mother came across a disturbing find in Kakaako this morning. She found 30 dirty needles dumped on the ground in a busy section of Waterfront Park.

The insulin needles all appeared used. Some had the caps on. Some did not.

"It's really scary because I come to this park often. It's a family friendly place. There are a lot of kids running around so it's a very dangerous and scary thing to know that your kids or family friends are exposed to that," said Sammy Kodama, a medical student who was having lunch in the park.

There were also items that were burned. Some needles even looked like they were melted.

"It looks like they burned it with something so its just black of some sort," said Officer Mauli'a Labarre, Honolulu Police Department.

The needles could have been left by a drug addict or a homeless diabetic. There were also three bags at the site that said they came from Walmart. The homeless folks said they didn't see who left the needles.

We called the Department of Health Hazardous Evaluation and Emergency Response team which then called Police. Former UH Volleyball player turned Officer Mauli'a Labarre who stands 6 foot 9 inches tall drew the short straw and picked up every syringe and cap by hand.

Some needles were improperly dumped in a nearby garbage can. Officer Labarre picked them out, piled them up and took them away.

"I have a container in my car," said Officer Labarre.

He placed them in a jar and will make sure they are disposed of properly. It's not a call anyone hopes to get stuck with, but he is glad no one was pricked by the needles.

"It just makes me a little more cautious now," said Kodama.

People can put their needles in a plastic container like an empty laundry detergent bottle and seal it up and throw it in the trash. But unfortunately not everyone does that. If you find discarded needles you can call 911.

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