2 Melbourne police officers stuck with hypodermic needle

Suspect admitted using needle for drugs, police say

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Two Melbourne police officers were taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center on Sunday after they were stuck with a used hypodermic needle while trying to arrest a suspect.

Both officers underwent a series of tests to see if they contracted any sort of illnesses from the used needle before returning to duty Sunday afternoon.

Melbourne police Lt. Dan Lynch said he was stabbed at least once in the palm of his hand. Lynch told Local 6 it could take up to four days before the test results come back.

The incident began around 10:15 Sunday morning near U.S. 1 and Roosevelt Drive.

Officers had received several calls about two women who were flagging down vehicles, possibly committing prostitution.

Lynch said two officers quickly spotted the women. While one of the women was very cooperative and was not charged with anything, the other woman, Cristen Monk, 22, was combative.

Lynch said Monk gave the officers a false name and they immediately suspected she was lying.

When they tried to detain Monk, Lynch said things quickly turned violent. Monk allegedly began to fight the officers, broke away and ran off.

While fleeing down U.S. 1, Lt. Lynch said Monk ran into his cruiser and fell to the ground. As police tried to handcuff her a second time, that's when Monk allegedly stabbed Lynch and another officer in the hand with a used hypodermic needle.

"We do run into a lot of needles in our day to day interactions with people involved with drug use, but luckily not many people have turned the needles on us as they did today," said Lt. Lynch.

Lynch would not disclose the name of the other officer out of privacy concerns.

He said Monk was also taken to the hospital to be treated for a small scrape to her shoulder before being booked into the Brevard County Jail.

Monk allegedly admitted to police that she used the needle to do drugs.

Police said she already had two warrants out for her arrest for violating her probation on a previous prostitution charge and dealing in stolen property. She is now facing a slew of additional charges including battery on a law enforcement officer.

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