Monday, September 05, 2005

Used Syringes

Today was a first. I've lived in this neighborhood for 14 years, and although there are a few shady characters renting houses a few blocks east of here, it's always been a quiet neighborhood of dog-walkers and kids on bikes. Sure we have our share of teenagers in their baggy pants and slightly askew ball caps trying to look tough, but they're just kids. Right?

I was cleaning up some stuff in the yard today, picking up what people typically throw out of their cars - a couple of fast food cups, a plastic grocery bag. But the grocery bag had something in it. I opened it up and looked down on somebody's discarded meth kit . . . three syringes, one still had a few cc's left in it, and a couple of spoons.

After thinking about all the little kids that live next door and across the street, I decided to call the police. I didn't really think they could do much, but I figured it might confirm what they already suspected about a certain house - maybe a red flag that might get them patrolling the neighborhood more often. I guess that's a good thing. The nice lady on the phone told me SPD didn't send officers to pick up syringes anymore - too many calls, I suppose.

She told me to very carefully place the syringes and spoons in a milk carton or some closed container and throw it in the trash. (This caused me to think of Mayor Carlson's son, whose arrest we talked about a few months ago. One method of investigation the police used in that case was sifting through the suspect's trash. In fact, they did find seeds and stems that served as a basis for his arrest. Now, the nice police lady is telling me to go ahead and throw the syringes in my trash. I guess the police can tell you to throw drug paraphernalia away, and it's all okay. I think there might be a dusty old bong in the attic - might as well toss it in for good measure.)

But seriously, the discovery of this stuff laying in my yard was a little unsettling. I haven't told the neighbors yet. Children ages 11, 6, 5 and 2 live in homes surrounding the dumping spot. Imagine one of them pulling dirty syringes out of bag - gives me chills.


RSmith said...

I deleted all the spam. Wish I could filter it.

I really look forward to the real comments - it's disappointing to find out it's just somebody selling home equity loans, etc.

Andy said...

This is a nice example of citizen journalism. You should post it to the Southwest Missouri Indy Media Center at:

Duane Keys said...

blogger has a feature on their comments now, the word verification (check your settings -> comments tab in your dashboard)

RSmith said...

Thanks for the help - now only humans can comment.

Soprano2 said...

Something like that happened to us, too. My husband & I had to repair a fence post at the back corner of our yard by the alley--it had been knocked down by a vehicle we think belonged to people living in a house on the alley (one owned by Mayor Carlson's son, no less); the people living in the house were to our eyes obviously drug dealers. When you can see cars coming and going constantly, never staying for more than 10 minutes, what else can you think?

Anyway, I found what I thought was a tightly-wrapped up piece of foil lying in the yard, so I picked it up and put it in the back of our Blazer so I could throw it away later. When my husband found it he unwrapped it and asked me why I put drugs in his vehicle! Turned out it was a wrapped-up syringe that was still full of white stuff--I shudder to think what it was. We didn't call the police, and we threw it in the trash. We live in a neighborhood that sounds similar to yours, close to OTC.

The drug dealers have moved out of the house, thank God.

Allison said...

Wow - I am a Colorado resident now but originally from Missouri and have friends in Springfield. Though this post is a few years old now I stumbled upon it as I discovered 4 used needles in my backyard today. They definitely weren't there less than a week ago when I last did yard work and they aren't concealed in any type of bag or anything, just on my side of the fence that separates my private property from an apartment building. I have left a message on my city's Police illegal drug tip line and sure hope I hear from them soon since I refuse to touch the needles until I do.

It is so unsettling to not only discover such a thing but also that so many others have encountered the same.

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