A woman waiting to testify at a grand larceny trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court was taken to the hospital yesterday after she stuck her hand on a hypodermic needle jammed between the cushions of a sofa outside the courtroom.
Johnetta Gray, 20, of 707 Glacier Ave. in Ritchie, Md., was treated at Commonwealth Hospital and released, a hospital spokeswoman said. Defense attorney Michael Arif said Gray, a defense witness, was taken to the hospital by the defendant, another witness and a sheriff's deputy. He said her hand was bleeding and swollen.
"She sat down, and it apparently went into her hand," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney David Field, the prosecutor in the case. "It was pretty bizarre. There's no telling what was in it."
Gray returned to the courthouse several hours later and although she was woozy, Arif said, she took the stand. The trial was not delayed because of the incident.
"First I'd heard somebody had been stabbed in criminal court," said Sheriff M. Wayne Huggins. "I'm sure what happened was . . . somebody had this needle on them, got scared about having it on them before going into court and shoved it down there."
Huggins said the plunger was pushed completely in and apparently there was nothing in the syringe.