PAWNEE COUNTY, Okla. – Hundreds of used syringes and vials of blood were found in the Arkansas River on Saturday.
Taylor Smyth says he takes his kids to the river almost every weekend, but after coming across the needles in the same spot that his kids build sand castles, that might change.
He says he was out with some friends boating on the Arkansas River Saturday when he saw what he thought was a tackle box.
It turns out it was five biohazard containers completely filled with vials of blood and syringes with the needles still attached.
“I don’t feel comfortable swimming now,” Smyth said.
He thinks someone was dumping them off a bridge upstream.
“There’s no telling how long this has happened or if it’s happened more than once,” Smyth said.
Pawnee County Sheriff Mike Waters says they have found six other containers spanning over thirty miles of the Arkansas River in the past few weeks.
“I know diseases can be transmitted through needles, so for someone to throw it off a bridge, I’ll tell you, they’re a low down dirty dog,” Waters said.
Smyth says he’s furious that whoever did this not only put the lives of his children in danger but hundreds of people who come to the river every week as well.
“It’s sickening to think that there’s a possibility that someone could get hepatitis from something like this, the possibility is very real I think,” Smyth said.
Authorities say they are checking with hospitals in the area to see if any of the vials belong to them.
The Pawnee County Sheriff’s Dept. says they have a team of biohazard specialists investigating.
They are also asking everyone in the area to steer clear from the river while they investigate.