Boy poked by dirty needle at Tulare baseball field, parents voice concerns

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The baseball community at the Tulare Baseball Association Ball Park is a close one where over 800 little ones, ages four to 14 go out and have a good time.

"We all look out for each other," says Tulare Baseball Association President Shelley Bergman. "We are a big family. We know people from all sides of the town because we all play out here together."

But on March 26, the unexpected happened.

A little boy was warming up for his game when he found a syringe and was poked by it.

It was addressed in a public letter, asking parents and coaches to keep a close eye on the park grounds to protect the kids.

The little boy was treated at the hospital and is okay. Many parents remain shocked and upset at the situation.

"It was very devastating for the child and knowing it could be any of our children," says Lisa and Renee.

Lisa and Renee say they started to see an increase in people experiencing homelessness around the ballpark around 2018.

Many stay near Centennial Park, next to the ballpark. They also set up near the railroad track.

There is only a fence between the railroad area and the ballpark.

The needle was found at one of the baseball fields next to that fence.

Bergman says they recently had a meeting with the city where the matter was discussed.

"We have come up with a plan," she said. "Tulare police is stepping up and helping more. They are coming and patrolling the park. Anything found will be packaged safely and stored with Tulare police."

We reached out to the city and were told while the city has enjoyed a positive relationship with the Tulare Baseball association for years, it does not own the facility. The statement goes on to say quote, "With regards to the recent incident, that matter is under investigation and therefore, there are no comments at this time."

Concerned parents are hopeful the city will stand by them and help find solutions to ensure the park is a safe place for children and their families.

"It's unacceptable that it happened, and we should not live in a society where this is happening," Lisa and Renee said.
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