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Deputy stuck with needle from suspect’s pocket

A Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputy was stuck with a needle Thursday while searching a man after a traffic stop, according to spokesman Deputy Stephen Wilbanks.

Wilbanks said deputies had stopped a car on Jesse Jewell Parkway with an expired tag and a nonworking taillight, later finding hydrocodone out of the original container.

During the search, Wilbanks said “a deputy was stuck by an open needle that was concealed in one of the arrestee’s pockets.”

Wilbanks said authorities suspect methamphetamine was in the needle, but it has not been tested. The deputy told Wilbanks the needle had been used.

The deputy was screened for hepatitis, HIV and other illnesses and given a tetanus shot.

“They go to the hospital, and it's treated like an injury on the job,” Wilbanks said.

The deputy is OK and will have follow-up screening, Wilbanks said.

“It’s not uncommon, and unfortunately, if you spend enough time on patrol, you’re going to encounter a situation like this,” Wilbanks said.