Bags of what appeared to be medical waste were found at bus stops around Lake Forest this week, disturbing local residents.
Mike Paxton was incensed. He said he first noticed the bags sitting outside the bus stop trash cans Jan. 2. He walks the area daily and said he found them in three separate locations.
Paxton found bags that appeared to be full of used catheter kits, including needles, tubing and more. They were leaking on the sidewalk along Lake Forest Drive as if they'd been placed there.
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A few blocks away, there were two more bags filled with medical waste. They sat in full view at another bus stop. Paxton said Monday he's been trying to have them taken away for more than a week.
“Every night we're told on TV and radio, ‘If you see something suspicious, report it.’ Well, nobody responds to it. What would happen, what would your reaction be if this was a backpack?” Paxton said.
“I read the bag and it's infectious bio waste,” he said.
Paxton said he tried the fire department three times, the city once.
NBC4 called City Hall as well, and within minutes a public works crew showed up and about an hour later a private hazmat crew began to contain and disinfect the waste.
The area is on a busy thoroughfare, with mothers pushing strollers, joggers and people who use the bus.
“It's very strange. This area is a very good area. I no have idea what happened,” said resident Virginia Ruiz.
City officials said they did drive out to Lake Forest Drive and Toledo Way last Thursday, but found nothing. They said they are not sure why the medical waste is being dumped there.
“I'm not comfortable speculating on that, but we are going to put increase inspections out there to see if this is a recurring issue,” said Lake Forest spokeswoman Hannah Shin-Heydorn.
Paxton wants to know who's behind this and if they had any other intentions.
“Every time I show somebody, they back away from me like I've got the plague,” he said.