A shopping trip to a Tulsa store turns into a scary experience for one woman

Tuesday, December 21st 2004, 5:39 am
By: News On 6

A holiday shopper got more than she bargained for after making a bizarre find in a Tulsa department store. Donna Litwack was stuck with a syringe while checking out some pants at JC Penney. Now she fears the worst may be yet to come.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler has this caution for unsuspecting holiday shoppers.

Donna Litwack started early one Saturday morning, hoping to avoid the holiday rush as she searched JC Penney for the perfect pair of jogging pants for her daughter. "And I was trying to search for the pockets to see how big the pockets were because she likes to carry her keys and I was stabbed by something sharp. And at first I thought it was a staple, but I realized it was sharper than that."

In both pockets, she found syringes with needles, which appeared to be used. "There was some substance inside of it, yes there was. At first I thought what is happening here? I couldn't believe it was happening, but then I realized I was just stabbed with a needle."

Tulsa Police confirmed they responded to an incident at the Tulsa Promenade's JC Penney on December 11th. Donna Litwack says she couldn't believe what was happening. "It was Saturday of course, so I took myself to the emergency room and was treated by the emergency room doctor. He was concerned about not only what was in the syringe, but what was in the needle. Communicable diseases; hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV."

Now, on top of the usual holiday stress, Litwack has to wait and worry for weeks, to learn whether she's been infected with any communicable diseases. She was just trying to find Christmas gifts for her loved ones, now she's dealing with a nightmare that she hopes other holiday shoppers will know to avoid. "If anyone could avoid what I've been through this last week, then it would be well worth it. As my family doctor told me these are life-threatening diseases that I could be exposed to, and I will have to go through at least a year of continued blood tests and other procedures."

Donna Litwack was "not" allowed to take the syringes for testing, so she's forced to undergo months of blood work, each test taking weeks to process.

Litwack knows this was a "freak" occurrence, but she hopes her story will make other shoppers "think twice" as they try-out store merchandise.