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Disturbing video shows mom dunking baby's head under water

A 5-month-old girl is fine after police said her mother recorded herself plunging the baby's head underwater.

>> Read more trending news 

Laquanda Mosley faces charges including aggravated assault with intent to murder, first-degree child cruelty and terroristic threats after police said she recorded a video of herself holding her baby underwater. 

The baby’s father said he believes anger drove her to do it.

"That was a vindictive act," Kevin Dandridge said.

Dandridge said Mosley became upset and threatened to harm the child when he asked for custody. He said Mosley was angry at him and sent him the videos threatening to kill the child in retaliation.

He posted it on social media and it went viral. Dandridge, who lives out of state, said he posted it for one reason only.

"I just needed some help and I didn't know how to locate her," he explained.

He says a friend of Mosley's saw his post and told him where she lives, and that's how police found her.

Officers said the infant was taken to the hospital and was released.

Dandridge told Jones no father should have to see his child's life threatened like that.

"I guess she just went off the deep end. I don't understand," he said.

>> Trending: Father and son swept away by high tide while fishing in Florida identified

Dandridge said Mosley was angry with him over money and the fact that he wanted custody of his child.

Police said when they arrived at her home she had the baby and two other children, 5 and 7-years-old.

All the children are in the custody of child protective services.

High school dance team does 'Harry Potter' -inspired homecoming performance

An Arizona high school dance team is getting attention once again for an impressive performance.

USA Today reported Friday that Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona, posted a video of a homecoming performance on Sept. 29.

>> Read more trending news 

In the video, members the the PAC Dance Team and Advanced Dance perform a series of synchronized moves to “Hedwig's Theme” from the “Harry Potter” film series, complete with props, before moving into Flor Rida’s “My House” and Nicki Minaj’s “Chun-Li.”

The video has more than four million views, and it isn’t the first time the dance team has gone viral. The group’s “The Wizard of Oz”-themed homecoming routine in 2017 has more than three million views. In July, it competed on “America’s Got Talent” with the same “Oz” routine.

Watch the performance in the video below.

Grieving mom's heartwarming act of kindness at Florida Publix goes viral

A Publix employee in Jacksonville, Florida, took to Facebook after a kind gesture by a grieving mom.

Nick DeClemente said he was at work Oct. 10 when a woman walked up to the bakery counter and asked if there were any first birthday cakes on order.

>> Read more trending news 

He said he asked for the customer name, thinking she wanted to pay for a specific person.

DeClemente said she replied no, that she wanted to anonymously pay for a cake.

"She then started to tear up and tell me that she had a stillborn child a year ago and in tribute to him she wanted to pay for someone else's cake," he wrote on Facebook. "I went to the cake order drawer and found this one. She told me thank you and appreciated that I let her do this."

>> See the Facebook post here

DeClemente said it was one of the most touching things he'd seen in all of his years working in retail.

"I hope that this lady finds peace through this tribute and that the customer receiving this gift will, if nothing else, pay it forward," he said.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

DeClemente said he hopes to see the mom again, so he can share with her all of the positive comments he's gotten since sharing the story.

Video showing 12-year-old rapper Lil C-Note arrested at Atlanta mall draws outrage

viral video showing a white police officer arresting a 12-year-old black boy at an Atlanta mall has drawn outrage online from some who say it’s merely the latest example of white officers being too aggressive with children of color.

Cobb County Police Chief Michael Register said the department has launched an internal investigation into the incident, which occurred Oct. 6 at Cumberland Mall, but added that so far he has seen no evidence the officer violated any rules. 

>> Read more trending news 

“The officer was in his legal rights to detain the juvenile,” Register said. “We take any incident like this very seriously.”

According to Toya Brown, a manager at Patchwerk Recording Studios, the boy is Corey Jackson, who raps under the name Lil C-Note.

Brown said Corey has appeared on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and recently toured with J. Cole, Young Thug and Jaden Smith.

The department did not release the name of the officer, who is still on active duty, citing a pending investigation.

The video, which contains explicit language, starts with the officer holding the boy by the arm. It is unclear how the confrontation began.

“You’re 12?” the office is heard asking the boy. “You’re about to go to jail. You’re going to go to a youth detention center if you don’t (inaudible).”

A woman, who later identifies herself as Corey’s aunt, can be heard off-camera defending him.

“I have his father on the phone and you won’t even speak to him,” she said to the officer.

“Yup,” the officer replied.

The camera is jostled as an apparent altercation breaks out and the video ends with the officer calling in the incident as another officer restrains the boy. It has been viewed thousands of times and drew heated criticism from some corners.

“Look how this officer (is) touching this young kid,” filmmaker Jason Pollock wrote when he shared the video on Twitter Monday. “He would never be treating a little white kid like this.”

Register said there was more to the story than what is seen in the video, saying that Corey had recently been issued a criminal trespass warning for selling CDs at the mall. Register said security saw him again and called the Cobb officer, who was working part-time for the mall.

When the officer arrived, Register said Corey was “verbally combative,” refused to answer questions and then made to leave, at which point the officer “got physical control” of him. 

Register said Corey “pushed or swung at” the officer and then his aunt “physically attacked” him. Eventually, they were both taken into custody, and the child was released to his father, who was also at the mall that day.

Register said Corey is being charged with felony obstruction and misdemeanor criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. His aunt is being charged with felony obstruction and misdemeanor criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and providing a false name to law enforcement, according to Register.

Register said charging the child with a felony was at the discretion of the officer.

The incident is not the first time Cobb County police have come under scrutiny. A 2017 study by the International Association of Chiefs of Police found the department plagued by “perceptions of racism,” although the study said it found no evidence of discrimination.

Just a few months later, though, a lieutenant was allowed an immediate retirement after he was caught on camera telling a motorist, “We only kill black people, right?”

Since then, Register has won some praise from advocates for measures he has taken to emphasize community policing, but those same measures drew disdain from some in his own department.

On Tuesday, Register promised a full investigation and expressed concern that the incident would further damage community-police relations.

“We’re in this together, and we’ve got to work together,” he said.

White woman who blocked black man from entering his St. Louis apartment fired

A white woman shown on a viral video blocking a black man from entering a loft to his downtown St. Louis apartment was fired from her job Sunday, KMOV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

In a cellphone video posted to his Facebook page, D’Arreon Toles documented a confrontation between himself and a female tenant at the Elder Shirt Lofts. Toles, 24, said he was returning from a late shift Friday when the woman, who was walking a dog on a leash, asked what unit he lives in, the Post-Dispatch reported.

In the video, Toles can be heard telling the woman, "You are blocking me into my building. This is my building as well. So, I need you to get out of my way."

“I’m uncomfortable," the woman says in the video.

"OK, you can be uncomfortable," Toles says in the video.

In the video, the woman follows Toles to the front door of his apartment, KSDK reported.

Thirty minutes later, St. Louis police appeared at his apartment, according to Toles’ Facebook post. No citations were issued.

A St. Louis police sergeant confirmed a 911 call was made to the building, but no report was written, KSDK reported.

"Did this really just happen to me? It happened to me. I am really taken away by the moment," Toles told KMOV. "I was kind of blown away, shocked and like ‘Wow.’ I am just glad I had my camera out. If I did not have my camera out, I feel it could have gone a totally different way."

“To Be A Black man in America, & Come home,” Toles wrote on Facebook.

Tribeca-STL, a luxury apartment company that says it is a minority-owned business, confirmed that the woman worked for the company, KMOV reported. In a statement, the company’s owners said they were “disturbed” by the video. The company also said in its statement that the property did not belong to Tribeca-STL and that the employee was interacting with Toles at her own private residence.

“We do not and never will stand for racism or racial profiling at our company, Tribeca-STL said in its statement. 

The woman, who has not been identified publicly, did not respond to requests for comment by several news organizations.

"I am not mad at her. I am not upset with her. I am not going to go after her legally or anything like that, Toles told KMOV. “I wish her the best. I would still have a conversation with her.” 

Halftime shows bring dancing, dinosaurs to gridiron

The Ohio State Marching Band has shown why it lives up to its nickname and that it has its collective finger on the pulse of what’s trending. 

This week’s halftime show had musicians doing the Floss, the viral dance that many kids are doing when they’re just standing around. 

But it wasn’t the individual musicians swinging their arms back and forth, but rather, large formations that looked like people who stretched nearly sideline to sideline.

And while it was a little slow, one Twitter user sped up the video and came up with this: 

The entire 10-minute show was called “Dance, Dance, Dance” and featured songs like “Uptown Funk,” “Don’t Stop Until You Get Enough,” “Footloose” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling” but started with “Shut Up and Dance.”

But Ohio State wasn’t the only band that brought its “A” game for halftime creativity. 

Iowa State’s band resurrected dinosaurs: Dancing T. Rexes took the field in the form of blow-up costumes to perform a routine to John Williams’ “Jurassic Park” theme.

But it wasn’t just a tribute to “Jurassic Park,” the band also performed songs from “Star Wars,” “Jaws” and “E.T.,” USA Today reported.

Nike offers pro contract to Oregon runner with cerebral palsy

A runner at the University of Oregon became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike, Sports Illustrated reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Justin Gallegos, a 20-year-old junior, thought he was being filmed for completing a cross country race for the university’s running club last Saturday. Instead, cameras captured the moment as John Douglas, Nike’s Insights director, handed Gallegos a contract.

In a video that has since gone viral, Gallegos sinks to his knees in joy as his teammates applaud.

“You don’t realize how realistic and emotional your dreams are until they play out before your very eyes!” Gallegos wrote on Instagram.

Gallegos began running as a ninth-grader. One of his coaches had gone to the University of Oregon, so Gallegos decided to attend the school and join the running club, Running magazine reported.

Gallegos used a walker as a child and endured plenty of physical therapy to improve his walk, the magazine reported.

He was noticed by Nike when he attended high school in California, and he has helped the athletic retail giant develop a shoe for runners with disabilities, called the FlyEase, Running reported.

Gallego said he was stunned by the contract offer from Nike.

“I’m still at a loss for words,” Gallego wrote on Instagram. “Beyond blessed to officially represent the swoosh!”

The video was released Oct. 6 to coincide with World Cerebral Palsy Day, Sports Illustrated reported.

Arkansas sheriff putting inmates in Nike shirts for booking photos, activists say

An Arkansas sheriff denies allegations that he is dressing inmates in Nike T-shirts for booking photos in a protest against the company for its use of Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign. 

>> Read more trending news 

"We are not, and will not, be influenced by current political and social debates in the media," Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts said in a statement, KLRT reported. "This shirt is not only in use now, but has also been for several months prior. We have taken steps to rectify this issue and ensure that this will never happen again."

Inmates began appearing in the Nike apparel around Sept. 15, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. 

Nike announced Sept. 4 that Kaepernick was the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick has drawn controversy since he began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to draw attention to racial inequality.

Activist Shaun King posted a photo Wednesday of 12 inmates wearing a black Nike T-shirt.

“(Roberts) is putting Nike T-shirts on people they arrest and making them wear them during mugshots,” King wrote on Twitter. “Disgusting.” In response, the sheriff removed all booking images from the website about an hour later, the Democrat-Gazette reported. Before the images were removed, 20 of 193 inmates were pictured in the shirt.

Roberts told KLRT the shirts were given to people without proper attire or if they were wearing a work uniform.

#metoo movement credited for 50 percent increase in sexual harassment lawsuits, EEOC says

In the wake of the #metoo movement, more people are filing sexual harassment claims against their employers, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

So far this year, the agency filed 66 harassment lawsuits, including 41 with allegations of sexual harassment, a more than 50 percent increase over the previous year. 

>> Read more trending news 

“One of the overarching concerns that I’ve had over this past year is that with so much focus on these big celebrity-driven and media-driven pieces, (it might get lost that) the people who come to the EEOC are in mom-and-pop shops and small companies and everyday companies,” Victoria A. Lipnic, acting chair of the agency, told The Washington Post. “This stuff happens everywhere. If you don’t address it in your workplace, you could find yourself on the receiving end of a federal enforcement."

While overall, charges on all bases of discrimination are down, sexual harassment numbers are up 12 percent from the previous year as well, Lipnic said. 

“Quite honestly, as we’ve been putting this all together over the last week, I wasn’t sure what the numbers were going to show," she said. "I suspected there was an increase, but I think it absolutely reflects a greater willingness to report it and speak up about it.”

The commission has also recovered more than $70 million for victims this year, up from $47.5 million in 2017.

Officer in lost dog Facebook post catches eyes 

An Orem, Utah, police officer has caught more than a missing dog, he’s caught the eyes of many women who may be willing to break the law to have him show up on their doorsteps.

Last week, the police department posted a photo of a dog to try to get the pup reunited with his family, but it was Officer Schroemges who was offered homes. 

>> Read more trending news 

Now Schroemges has been given the new nickname, Officer Scrumptious, by his coworkers. Women are not hiding their shame when it comes to Schroemges’ good looks and his coworkers are eating it up, posting to the desperate women some catchy comebacks.

Too bad for Emily, she really wasn’t the owner, and the department’s social media person first asked what’s the dog’s name and then had a great comment for her.

Some were willing to break the law for a visit from Officer Schroemges. The department had comments for them too. 

As for the dog, his owners were found and they were reunited. The police department had to break the news to those who posted to the Facebook comments.

And one final reminder for desperate posters who wanted to ditch their dogs so Officer Schroemges would rescue them.

Baby will soon complete 50-state road trip

She’s only 5 months old but a little girl is finishing up something that may be on the bucket lists of many adults -- to visit all 50 states in the U.S.

But age isn’t stopping Harper Yeats. Her parents have taken her on a road trip to end all road trips and hope to finish the journey on Oct. 18 when the family gets to Vermont, “Good Morning America reported”

The Green Mountain State will finally get crossed off Cindy Lim and Tristan Yeats’ list that took them four months to complete. 

And while many will say little Harper is too young to remember the once-in-a-lifetime trip around the country, her parents have taken a photograph after they crossed each state line to help document the journey.

The trip has been documented on Instagram.

>> Read more trending news 

The trip will also make Harper the youngest member of the All 50 States Club and she may even get a Guinness World Record title out of the trip. But Guinness has to create the record before the family can submit the application, “Good Morning America” reported.

Lim and Yeats are originally from Australia but live in Canada. They started their drive around the country in June just a few weeks after Harper was born and near the beginning of Lim’s year-long maternity leave, “Good Morning America” reported.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

DiGiorno is just as confused as you are after video shows frozen pizza at Little Caesars 

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT Oct. 9: A spokesperson for Little Caesars told Delish the video, recorded by Vincent Romero, wasn’t actually depicting DiGiorno pizzas being sold at the pizza chain.

“Of course, Little Caesars only serves freshly baked pizzas made from fresh dough,” a spokesperson told Delish.

Romero was at a Litte Caesars at a K-Mart franchise location, where customers complained that they received expired DiGiorno pizzas.

“Because it was so close to closing time, the K-Mart manager directed his employee to temporarily store them in a cooler adjacent to the Little Caesars location for disposal in the morning,” the spokesperson said. “I can confirm that no DiGiorno pizzas were baked or served at this Little Caesars location.”

Original report:

A Twitter user appeared to catch his local Little Caesars Pizza chain red-handed with DiGiorno frozen pizza, and DiGiorno is just as confused as everyone else.

WTOL reported that the customer, who was in a Little Caesars, recorded video of a box of DiGiorno pizzas in a shopping cart at the end of the cash register.

>> Read more trending news 

“This can’t be happening right in front of me,” the Twitter user captioned the video.

The viral tweet got the attention of DiGiorno and Chissy Teigen, who is the author of two cookbooks.

“The only Little Caesars I wanna go to,” Teigen tweeted.

“Same,” DiGiorno replied

According to WSFA, Little Caesars replied to the video post, asking, “Which location was this?” but the tweet has since been deleted. The location where the video was filmed is not clear.

Popcorn shop gets national attention after Reddit post

A Tulsa popcorn shop is getting national attention after a Reddit post showed how its owner makes daily, positive posts surrounded by popped kernels.

>> Read more trending news 

John Russel, manager of The Corn Popper, posts pictures on Facebook posing with popcorn and wishing everyone a good day.

On Thursday, someone posted on Reddit about the business and Russel.

Since the post went viral, Russel has been getting orders from all over the world. Russel told FOX23 that they can handle all of the orders because it's a lot like their Christmas rush.

The specialty popcorn business has been in Tulsa for 35 years. Customers can choose from more than 32 flavors of popcorn. 

'I was very shaken up': Bicyclist captures video of gruesome crash involving deer

A shocking video that shows a deer hitting a car and flipping violently into the air on a busy road is going viral.

Officers said the video is a good reminder to stay vigilant because deer are more active at this time of year.

>> Read more trending news 

The wreck happened along Forest Lawn Drive, where Missie Mansfield and Peter Flur were riding their bicycles with a group of riders.

“We were in pretty tight paceline. It's a small group of us and we were riding,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield led the pack, while Flur was riding with a camera and captured the crash.

“It was a huge buck deer going right in front of me,” Mansfield said. “It hit the car going the opposite way on Forest Lawn and it was hit really hard and it flew up and it fell behind us.”

“It happened all within a second and a half and then, all of a sudden, I see this mass coming up in the air,” Flur said.

Miraculously, no was injured.

“I was very shaken up. We were all shaken up from it,” Mansfield said. “I had tears in my eyes for the deer and then I start replaying it and replaying it and too many what ifs.”

The deer came out of a wooded area that is near several developments.

"As we see more development, as we see more cars on the highway, more people move to the area, it’s just a law of averages. The odds of having a crash with wildlife are higher,” said Sgt. William Laton, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Laton said it's common to see more wildlife this time of year.

“We do get a lot of calls, as well as Highway Patrol,” he said. “They investigate a lot of accidents involving wildlife October to December, January.”

Wildlife officials said drivers must stay vigilant and be extra careful in the mornings and evenings when animals are more active.

“It's very sad for the wildlife. It really is,” Mansfield said. “I was shaken up initially because of the deer, and then we started gathering our thoughts and realized what had happened, and then you go home and you really start thinking about it. I could've been killed. Any of us could've lost our lives."

Mooove over! Rescue cow takes ride in truck

You don’t see this every day: A cow riding in the backseat of a truck.

And that’s exactly what someone spotted on Interstate 75 in Tipp City the other day. Their Facebook post has gone viral with over 14,000 shares and comments.

>> Read more trending news 

And, as it turns out, the cow itself is becoming an internet sensation. Her official name is Annie the Highway Cow and she has her own Facebook page.

Just who IS Annie?

She's an 18-month-old Holstein heifer rescued from a factory farm in Indiana at one day old along with her twin sister, Jo, according to owner Cory A. Morris.

“They were rejected by their mother at birth and required constant care for the first few weeks of life. From day one, she's loved to go for rides in the truck and enjoy the wind in her hair,” he said.

Police urge parents not to buy phone case that looks like gun

Police in California are urging parents not to buy -- or allow their children to buy -- a phone case that looks like a gun.

>> Read more trending news 

The San Mateo Police Department, in an Oct. 1 Facebook post that echoed an earlier post that went viral, suggested strongly that the cases should be avoided.

“Although a novelty, it will create unwanted scrutiny from law enforcement for whoever uses it,” the department wrote on Facebook.

At first glance, the case looks like a gun. While it comes in several colors, the black version is especially convincing and that concerns police, who will have to respond when concerned residents call to report it.

On Sept. 24, Aaron P. Sheehan, who identified himself on Facebook as a police officer, urged readers, “Please, please do not buy this or allow your children to have this new phone case! Hell, tell everyone you know, not just your kids!!”

The post went viral, with more than 3,600 comments.

>> Gun-shaped cellphone case mistaken for weapon

In late February, a central Florida high school was placed on lockdown after students thought a 15-year-old boy’s cellphone case was a gun.

Fired Dunkin' Donuts worker apologizes, says he’s ‘not a monster’ 

The man fired by Dunkin’ Donuts for pouring water on a homeless man posted a video to apologize and said he was “not a monster,” reported.

>> Read more trending news 

"It was wrong, completely. I felt wrong as soon as I did it," Shakeen Robbins, 28, said on the video. "I would like to apologize ... to let him know I never viewed him as a lesser person. Let us try to figure out how to work through it.”

Robbins was working at the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant in Syracuse, New York, on Sunday night, and admitted to dumping a pitcher of water on Jeremy Dufresne, who said he was charging his cellphone to call his mother. He had put his head down on the table when he was doused with cold water, reported.

A co-worker recorded the incident, which immediately went viral and sparked protests by Syracuse residents and resulted in Robbins being fired by Dunkin’ Donuts. Laughter can be heard.

Robbins, who is engaged and has two small children, apologized on a video posted to YouTube.

Robbins said he was homeless five years ago and could relate to Dufresne’s situation. He told that he had conversations with the homeless man and offered him food.

>> Dunkin’ Donuts fires employees

"We'd have conversations about sports, girls, how to better himself," Robbins told

Five days before the Sunday night incident, Robbins said Dufresne began to cause trouble, refusing to wake up when nudged.

Robbins said he had already pushed a couple that had been fighting out of the store Sunday night. When he saw Dufresne with his head down on the table, Robbins said he became frustrated after a difficult shift.

“I just got frustrated dealing with the situation of multiple pedestrians coming in there, waving weapons, making mayhem out of the situation,” Robbins said in the video. “And just dealing with Jeremy as a person, I kind of got a little frustrated and took it too far.”

>> Homeless man was charging phone to call mother

Dufresne's mother, Bobbie Jo Richardson, did not accept the apology, reported.

"It doesn't matter if he is sorry," Richardson said.

Robbins, who said he has not talked to Dufresne since the incident, said he'd like to do community service and work with a homeless outreach group, like Al-amin Muhammad's "Sandwich Saturdays," reported. Muhammad said Robbins would be welcome to help out.

Mother, teen charged in tattoo incident involving 10-year-old child

The mother of the 10-year-old who received a tattoo from a 16-year-old artist in Logan County has been charged with a single count of child endangering in connection to the case, according to court records.

Nikki Dickinson, 34, has a warrant out for her arrest, records show.

A 16-year-old tattoo artist also is facing two misdemeanor counts accusing him of delinquency stemming from the investigation into a Facebook video which allegedly showed him giving a 10-year-old boy a permanent tattoo, went viral and caught the attention of police.


The charge, tattooing prohibitions — a fourth-degree misdemeanor if committed by an adult — was filed last week in the Logan County Common Pleas Court Juvenile Division.

One count of the delinquency charge against the 16-year-old artist involves the sterilization of equipment. The other count accuses him of violating safety and sanitation standards, according to court record.

The artist, who according to the court documents lives in the village of Lakeview, was being detained in the juvenile detention center on an unrelated offense, Logan County Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.

» FIRST REPORT: Video of 10-year-old getting tattoo catches eye of police, prosecutors

More than 14,000 people have shared the video showing the boy getting tattoo, which police said was recorded by the 10-year-old boy’s mother.

No felony charges are expected against her, but Stewart said the case has been referred to the municipal prosecutor’s office for possible misdemeanor charges.

Logan County Children’s Services also has an open investigation into the family.

Bellefontaine police have received calls from all over the country from people who have said they are upset about the video.

Lt. Rick Herring told News Center 7's Kate Bartley Wednesday the agency received the first report on Monday and went to a Bellefontaine apartment complex to check on the family. 

>> Read more trending news 

The boy told officers he wanted the tattoo, Herring said. 

According to Ohio law, it is illegal to tattoo a child unless the parent gives consent. But, police said, tattoos must be done in a safe and sanitary environment. 


Nick Harrison, a tattoo artist with Blue Byrd Tattoo in Dayton, told Bartley he was caught off guard by seeing the video because of the age of the child getting the ink.

“That’s child abuse, I would say,” Harrison said, noting potential patrons have to be 18 and up at Blue Byrd Tattoo. That has been the policy since the business opened in 1999, he said.

“We’ve done a lot of cover-ups on stuff that underage kids get, stuff they don’t like when they’re older,” he said.

What would happen if a 10-year-old and his or her mother walked in at Blue Byrd, wanting a tattoo for the child?

“I think most of us would probably laugh them out the door,” Harrison said.

Starbucks baristas say they were poked by discarded drug needles

Image after image provided to Seattle's KIRO-TV reveal what three baristas claim they dispose of nearly every day while on the job at Starbucks: hypodermic needles they say were left behind by drug users.

>> Watch the news report here

All three employees also produced hospital, pharmacy and insurance receipts that show they took anti-viral medications to protect them from AIDS and hepatitis – after all three were poked by needles while on the job.

"(Needle users) put them in the tampon disposal boxes in the bathrooms, and we have to dig them out,” one barista recently said.

The three baristas all spoke with KIRO

Only one was willing to be interviewed on camera, as long as her identity was hidden. 

“I don’t want to lose my job for being the only one willing to say, 'Someone listen to me. Do something about this. My friends are at risk,'" she said.

At the employees' north Seattle-area Starbucks, co-workers document when needles are found, leaving notes asking, "How many more baristas have to get poked before we get disposals in bathrooms?"

For a while, they even shared medication to avoid illness if pricked because in the past 12 months, three baristas have been, according to medical documents provided to KIRO

That practice was abandoned as soon as the employees learned sharing medication could get their manager in trouble.

However, the frustration remains. 

“That’s three of us now, in one location,” the barista who spoke on camera said. 

She and the two other baristas would like Starbucks to install locked needle disposal boxes in all restrooms, especially in cafes, where drug use is more common. 

“I’m pretty sure it looks worse to have your baristas continuously exposed to HIV and hep C and hep B” than to have locked boxes for needle disposal in areas open to the public, the barista said. 

Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges confirmed to KIRO that at least two Seattle-area baristas have been poked by hypodermic needles while on the job, but Borges claims that since early 2017, all employees have been retrained on what steps to take when hypodermic needles are found.

He also disputed baristas’ claims they must “dig” needles out of trash bins. If an employee is "ever in a position where they don't feel comfortable completing a task, they are empowered to remove themselves from the situation and alert a manager," according to Borges, who would not agree to an on-camera interview.

KIRO confirmed that Starbucks made the training changes after a 2016 investigation by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries fined the company and determined it was not ensuring "that regulated waste, such as contaminated hypodermic syringes, are handled properly and safely” at Starbucks’ 6th and Pine location in downtown Seattle.

There are “requirements for employers to make sure they’re protecting their employees and not let this happen to them, if at all possible,” according to L&I spokesperson Tim Church.

>> Starbucks to phase out plastic straws at all locations

When asked if L&I is satisfied with how Starbucks is protecting its employees now, Church said, “In the situation we cited and fined them for, clearly they understood the issues and told us they were moving ahead with the things we pointed out to them.”

Safe needle disposal is certainly not just a challenge for Starbucks. 

With intravenous drug use on the rise, locked needle disposal boxes are widely sold online. 

Many Seattle parks now have them to protect parkgoers. 

The Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, in Seattle, installed locked needle disposal boxes in its restrooms earlier this year to provide a safe disposal option for sharps. 

Employee Jeff Coyne told KIRO in February that the locked boxes “encourage the safe practice of disposing” of needles.

However, L&I’s Church admits, even when the public has access to locked needle boxes inside bathrooms, employee safety is not guaranteed. 

Such boxes “deal with some of the issue, but I don’t think they deal with the entire issue,” Church told KIRO. “You’re still going to have a certain number of folks who are going to take that needle and throw it in the trash, so you can’t take a sharps box and assume the problem has been solved and not teach your employees to handle garbage safely,” Church said.

According to Borges, all Starbucks cafes already have sharps boxes in employee-only areas so baristas can safely dispose of any needles using gloves and tongs.

>> Read more trending news 

After KIRO started asking questions about the three baristas poked while on the job this past year, Borges confirmed there have been "ongoing conversations about adding additional protections and procedures to further ensure the safety" of employees, including "exploring installing sharps boxes in the bathrooms of our stores where it would help address the issue."

That development is welcome news to the baristas KIRO interviewed, who all said the needle problem has grown since Starbucks opened its restrooms to everyone – even nonpaying customers – this past May.

“Because you don’t have to bother with purchasing anything, needles have definitely increased,” one said.

In response, Borges told KIRO that Starbucks’ Third Place Policy – which opened its restrooms to all – still has rules that must be followed.

The baristas, however, claim it’s difficult to enforce those rules behind a locked door.

Student wearing 'Black Lives Matter' shirt says she was kept out of Trump rally

Alexis Cobbs was hoping to earn extra credit by going to a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Southaven, Mississippi. 

>> Watch the news report here

The DeSoto High School student said she stood in line outside the Landers Center for two hours only to be turned away by someone wearing a Secret Service shirt when she got inside.

>> On Donald Trump holds rally in Mississippi ahead of midterm elections

“The Secret Service man just walks up to me and tells me to follow him, and so I did. And once I realized I was out the door, he pushed me out the door,” Cobbs said. “I was, like, 'What?' and he was, like, 'Don’t let the door hit your fingers on the way out.'"

Cobbs, who was wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt, said she believes it’s the reason Secret Service asked her to leave.

“I didn’t realize wearing a shirt could just disqualify you from listening to a sitting president speak,” Cobbs said. “I didn’t know only people who actively identify as Republicans were the only ones able to come in here and listen.”

>> Read more trending news 

Although some were not in favor of Trump’s visit, most of the people WHBQ spoke with had a different story. 

Supporters stood outside for hours. Some got there as early as 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. 

One couple came from Australia.

“We thought we could not miss the opportunity to see an American president and especially Donald Trump,” said Dawn King.

Cobbs still argues that Trump is sending the wrong message to Americans.

“Everything he says basically is not well thought out, and once even more the world is laughing at us,” Cobbs said. 

Cobbs said this incident makes her want to run for public office one day.

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