Woman stabbed with hypodermic needle in Vancouver, police say

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Vancouver police have arrested a 35-year-old woman in connection with the apparently unprovoked attack. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Vancouver police have arrested a 35-year-old woman in connection with the apparently unprovoked attack. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

Police are investigating after a woman was stabbed in the leg with a hypodermic needle in Vancouver on Wednesday evening.

Police say it happened after the woman, 23, walked out of a coffee shop near Main and East Pender streets in the Downtown Eastside around 5:30 p.m. PT.

"Investigators believe the woman may have been followed out of the coffee shop and confronted by the suspect, who then stabbed her with the dirty needle," Sgt. Steve Addison wrote in a statement.

"Because we don't know what was in the needle and whether there will be any long-term health impacts, the victim was taken to hospital for treatment."

Investigators believe the assault was unprovoked and said the victim and suspect did not know each other.

Officers arrested the suspect, 35, and said she is known to police. She was released from custody after agreeing to appear in court at a later date.

It is uncommon for diseases to be spread by needle wounds, often referred to as "needle sticks."

"Most of the time, the person on whom the needle was used doesn't have hepatitis, HIV, or another infection that can be spread that way," according to HealthLink B.C.

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