Dirty hypodermic needle found in sandbox

October 13, 2010 3:24:30 PM PDT
A Staten Island father says he was disgusted when he found his kids playing in a sandbox near a dirty hypodermic needle.

When it comes to sand, kids love to lay in it, play in it, dig holes, build castles, and some even eat it.

"The park was delayed six months being open. Everyday we drive past it and my kids are like, Daddy can we go in?" said Michael Daly, a Great Kills parent.

The sandbox at Seaside Wildlife Nature Park in Great Kills Staten Island is a kid magnet.

It's only been open been open two weeks.

So imagine the horror Michael Daly felt when he found a used hypodermic needle in the sandbox.

"I was alarmed, I was surprised, I was a little disgusted," Daly said.

It happened on Monday.

With the help of two other parents, the retired firefighter and father of three cleared the sandbox, and stood guard for two hours to keep other kids from playing in the sand.

"It's maybe six inches long. The metal tip had a bend to it. It was still sharp," Daly said.

Daly turned the needle over to the Parks Department Wednesday, which said it appeared to be a diabetic needle, used for insulin.

The Parks Department also said there's no way to trace how it got into the sandbox.

"I called 311, they switched me to the Parks Department. The Parks Department said it'll take three to four days to get a response, they'll notify me by email on what they're going to do about it. And I don't think that was enough," Daly said.

The Parks Department said it cleaned the sand box the very next day, and said the park is always cleaned twice daily.

Now, the NYPD and City Councilman Vincent Ignizio are considering placing a surveillance camera in the park.

But until then, Daly's kids may have to wait to play in the sandbox again.

"I don't when I'm going to go back," Daly said.