It was nine-year-old Emily Van Buel's quick thinking that she says saved the life of her best friend – who found a sewing needle lodged in one of her Halloween chocolate bars.
The pair was ready to chow down on handfuls of candy during lunch period at Sir Arthur Carty Catholic Elementary School on Wednesday when Emily noticed her best friend didn't check her snack-sized Twix bar.
"She was just going to shove it in her mouth," said Emily, who regularly breaks open her candy bars to check for peanuts – as her younger sister is allergic.
"So, we broke it open and found a small sewing needle … and everybody was staring, it was crazy it was like unexpected," she said. "I thought some things were dangerous, but when it comes to candy, I thought it was the one safe thing. But it's really not."
The two fourth graders alerted school staff – who sent a letter home to parents, cautioning them to check their children's Halloween candy.
"Why would anybody want to hurt our kids, it makes absolutely no sense and nobody can make any sense of it," said Emily's mom Veronica Van Buel, who has four children – all under the age of nine – who attend the elementary school in the city's south end.
"I don't think it's funny. I don't think it's a prank. I don't know why anybody would do that on purpose."
Van Buel said she hopes the potentially fatal incident was a one-off for her quiet neighbourhood.
However, Meda Riley-Avey, a parent of four children who attend the elementary school, said the incident has made her reconsider sending her eight-year-old out trick or treating in the White Oaks area.
"It's horrible to have to think that this is happening in our neighbourhood with our kids. But we do what we can to protect them and a fun night for them shouldn't be ruined by other people."
The London District Catholic School Board could not be reached for comment.
London police are also asking parents to inspect their trick-or-treaters Halloween candy after a child found a needle in a chocolate bar in the White Oaks area.
Const. Sandasha Bough could not confirm whether or not the incident at Sir Arthur Carty was related to the one in question, however, she said it could be possible.
Investigators have released a list of streets where one suspected tampered chocolate bar came from:
- Sasha Crescent
- Elvira Crescent
- Complex at 870 Jalna Boulevard
- Muriel Crescent
- Ernest Avenue, from Jalna Boulevard to Muriel Crescent.
"We want to remind parents to please inspect the candy your children brought home and if you find anything suspicious at all, please give us a call," said, Bough.
Although Emily is unsure what her costume will be next year – now dabbling in the thought of being a superhero – she is sure of one thing:
"I'm going to be checking every candy bar I'm going to eat. I never know what's going to happen," she said.