It’s the kind of story that is every parent’s nightmare.
A mom purchases a pair of shoes for her child, but when he puts them on it’s discovered that there is a needle inside, fashioned so it will poke the young victim.
It’s almost too morbid to be true – except that it is, and it happened here, in Terrace, B.C.
“I was horrified,” said Rosie McCormick, who discovered a small, hypodermic needle glued inside the red, croc-style shoes she purchased for her seven-year-old son at Walmart earlier this month.
“We bought the shoes and then we drove out to the beach,” she said.
“My son went to put them on his feet and said ‘Oh there’s something in my shoe’ so I looked in it and there’s this needle glued in there – it was glued – so I dug it out with a pen.”
But thankfully, the needle missed poking her son.
“I was very, very thankful,” she said. “What are the odds? The needle was glued pointing upwards to poke whoever stuck their foot in there and I guess it just turned sideways when he stuck his foot in there, and didn’t poke him.”
McCormick contacted Walmart, who told her staff would check the remaining shoes and notify other stores to do the same.
But she believes they could have done more to notify the public about the incident.
“Don’t you think you should pull these off the shelves or put up a notice?,” she said.
“People need to know that this happened.”
But she said she isn’t blaming Walmart for the incident – that it could have happened in any store and to anyone.
“I’m not pointing fingers at Walmart, but the fact is it happened in a Walmart and Walmart should do something about it,” she said.
“I’m sure Walmart’s worried, but I don’t want money, I don’t want a lawsuit, I don’t want anything, I just want people to know. That’s it. I want them to do something and tell people that it happened.”
In an emailed statement, Felicia Fefer, a spokesperson for Walmart Canada, said that “the safety of our customers and associates is our number one concern … We take product safety issues very seriously and we appreciate the customer bringing this issue to our attention.”
Walmart believes this is an isolated incident, she said.
“When the customer contacted us initially, we began an immediate investigation,” she said. “We are not aware of any similar incidents.”
Requests for more information about the investigation process, and what safety measures Walmart has in place to prevent similar incidents from happening were not answered by the end of last week.
And McCormick also contacted Terrace RCMP, who have since concluded the file after having discussions with Walmart and do not have a suspect at this time.
“It’s unclear how and why something like this can happen,” said Terrace RCMP community policing officer Const. Angela Rabut. “A needle in a shoe is indeed pretty rare.
“Canada is a great country to live in and Terrace takes that a step further in being a safe and great place to live and raise children,” she said. “Nevertheless, it would be naive to think we are above crazy things happening sometimes, like a needle in a shoe. Crime does happen here and with the public’s support we will continue to combat it.”