TAMPA BAY, Fla. (Bay News 9) - A Florida man is facing charges after police say he may have been attempting to poison his neighbors by injecting chemicals under the front door of their apartment.
Police say undercover video shows 36-year-old Xuming Li allegedly sticking a syringe under his neighbors’ front door and injecting a liquid into the Tampa Bay apartment.
Umar Abdullah, 36, lives inside that apartment with his wife and 1-year-old daughter. He says for more than a month, a chemical smell in their home was making his family sick. The symptoms included a headache worse than a migraine, nausea, shortness of breath, drowsiness and hair loss.
Suspicious of the odor, Abdullah hid a camera inside a plant facing his front door. He says he was shocked to capture Li, his downstairs neighbor, on video.
Abdullah says he had been having a disagreement with Li over noise complaints that started shortly after his daughter was born.
After seeing the video, he called police, who sent out the hazmat team to investigate. The team found methadone and hydrocodone when they tested the liquid, according to an arrest affidavit.
Li was arrested in June on six charges, including multiple counts of battery, aggravated stalking and dispersing a chemical agent. He was a doctorate student in the University of South Florida’s chemistry department and was enrolled in the summer session.
He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, according to court records.
Abdullah says the ordeal has left his family shaken, and they’re now scared to make any noise whatsoever.