Lt. Dan Lynch spent most of his patrol shift on Sunday trying to forget that he was stabbed with a used hypodermic needle.
"I try not to think about it," said the 16-year Melbourne Police Department veteran.
Lynch says he was called to help back up several officers conducting a prostitution investigation at the corner of U.S. 1 and Roosevelt at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. At the time, Lynch says officers were trying to arrest 22-year-old Kristen Monk, a convicted prostitute, on several active warrants.
But instead of cooperating with police, Lynch says Monk ran from them and had to be brought to the ground by Lynch and two other officers.
Lynch said none of them knew the suspect was allegedly clutching her used hypodermic needle at the time.
"As they got the female's one hand out from the center of her body, she took a swinging motion at the officers" said Lynch, who was one of three making the arrest.
"She stabbed me in the hand and another officer in between the fingers."
After a brief struggle, the officers got the handcuffs on Monk. At that point, they saw the used hyperdermic needle, which Lynch said the convicted prostitute later admitted she used to inject herself with intravenous drugs.
"To be honest, I didn't realize I had been hit by the needle until afterward. And then at that point, a little bit of panic set in. So myself and the other injured officer immediately went to Holmes Regional Medical Center for treatment."
Once at the hospital, Lynch and a fellow officer had their blood drawn so they could be tested for infectious and potentially deadly disease. The results won't be ready for several days, so in the meantime, Lynch is trying not to think about it.
"You have to go on with life while understanding the concerns that come from this line of work. It's just something that we deal with," Lynch said.
Monk is charged with two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, and two counts of resisting arrest with violence. Her bond has been withheld pending a hearing Monday afternoon.