Henry County deputy stuck with meth-filled needle during search

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. - A deputy working on a drug arrest was stuck with a needle filled with crystal meth. The deputy, who works undercover for the Henry County Sheriff's Office, said he was happy he's okay in what could have been a deadly situation.

On Monday, the deputy and his partner ran into a man who has a lengthy criminal history. They said Danny Riggs was acting strange, so they asked to search him.

Riggs agreed to the search. When asked if there was anything in his pockets or on him that could harm anyone, deputies said Riggs told them, "no."

"He told us numerous times, he didn't have anything on him and the minute I patted him down..." the deputy said.

That was the minute he felt a sharp prick.

"I knew what it was. I knew instantly what it was," he said.

The deputy said Riggs lied and told him it was a thorn that got stuck in the leg of his pants. A search uncovered the needle that was bent from being jammed into the deputies palm and it was still full of drugs.

On his palm, the deputy felt a stinging pain. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent numerous tests to ensure he wouldn't overdose from meth. He said if the other end of the needle even had the slightest movement, he could have been injected with a deadly dose of pure crystal meth.

He's out of the hospital and recovering quickly. The deputy said it's often that suspects don't cooperate when asked if there's anything on them that could be dangerous.

"A pair of latex gloves isn’t going to stop a needle," he said. "I was instantly mad, furious."

While the terrifying situation is causing them to re-think their searching protocols, deputies said they won't stop their efforts to get drugs off the streets.

"We were out yesterday and we’ll be out today and tomorrow and we can’t stop. If we stop, they win," he said.

Riggs is facing charges of possession of meth and unlawful possession of a syringe.

In April, a New Castle woman said her granddaughter was almost stuck with an exposed needle while on a walk. Deputies responded and found at least five un-capped syringes in an alley where children play.

They said if you see a needle, leave it there and call police.