Vermont student found used needle and syringe, then poked classmates, police say

Monday, October 30th 2006, 10:09 pm
By: News On 6

ST. ALBANS, VT. (AP) A high school student found a used needle and syringe by the side of a road and jabbed eight fellow students over two days, police and school officials said.

Jabbed students at Bellows Free Academy were urged to be vaccinated immediately against hepatitis B. The incidents also posed a lower risk of hepatitis C and HIV, but those diseases would not be expected to show in tests for months.

The student who wielded the needle threw it away, officials said. Police have not been able to recover it and don't know whether it was infected, said police officer Frank McCarty.

A 16-year-old student at the public school will be charged with eight counts of assault, police said. The attacks were reported Thursday and Friday, they said.

``He just walked up and stabbed me with a needle and said, 'You now have hepatitis,''' said student Ava Staples. ``I'm pretty nervous.'' She said she planned to get a blood test.

The school will discipline the student, said district Superintendent Marilyn Grunewald.