Officer faces months of testing following a needle-stick incident during an arrest

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An Atlanta man is in jail after Peachtree City officers found him passed out at a local convenience store and in possession of heroin.

For one of the officers at the scene, the incident was the beginning of a multi-month process of testing required after he was stuck with an open, bloody needle located in the man’s hoodie while he was being searched.

Brian M. Parsons, 36, was charged with DUI drugs, possession of heroin and possession of drug-related objects, according to Peachtree City Police Department spokesman Chris Hyatt.

Hyatt said officers on April 28 at approximately 7 a.m. arrived at the Circle K on Crosstown Drive in reference to a man slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle.

Officers approached the vehicle, which had sustained significant damage, and woke the driver who was intoxicated, said Hyatt.

Once out of the vehicle, one of the officers began the pat-down and, while doing so, had his finger stuck with an uncovered needle concealed in the man’s hoodie, Hyatt said, adding that there was blood in the syringe, and with heroin found in the vehicle’s console.

Pertaining to the incident, the department’s Facebook page included a post detailing the incident and the resulting impact on one of the officers at the scene.

“Yesterday our department had an abrupt reminder of one of the many hidden dangers of police work. Officers responded to a local gas station regarding a driver passed out behind the wheel of a wrecked vehicle. Upon having the driver exit the vehicle, it was apparent that he was under the influence of drugs. Prior to conducting sobriety tests, the officer performed a brief pat-down of the individual’s waistline to check for weapons. During the pat-down, the officer’s hand was stabbed by a syringe that was concealed in the driver’s hoodie.

“The investigation led to the offender being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and possession of heroin. The syringe was determined to have been recently used for the injection of heroin. Due to the officer’s potential exposure to both narcotics and infectious diseases, he went to the hospital for blood tests and to begin antiviral medications. This officer now must undergo frequent tests for up to six months to ensure he does not develop diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV.

“A single incident like this can be life altering for not only the officer involved, but their entire family as well. Hopefully this incident resolves with no harm to the officer, and simply serves as a sobering reminder of the hidden dangers that come with our chosen profession,” the police Facebook post said.