A family’s month-long bout of ill health and terror has ended, though the discovery of the cause was disturbing. Umar Abdullah, his wife and 10-month-old daughter, began feeling dizzy, with periods of upset stomach. They also noticed an odor emanating from their home, whose cause and location were undeterminable. As their baby kept getting sick, the Abdullahs knew something was up. A neighbor told them a scent was detectable when the family was on vacation, so Umar checked his apartment’s vents and water heaters—no luck. But then there was Xuming Li, 36.
Mr. Li became a person of interest when he was caught trying to poison the family. Abdullah installed a security camera and hid it beside his front door in a plant. He captured Li using a syringe to inject chemicals under the family door. It was a combination of methadone and hydrocodone, whose side effects included the symptoms the family had endured for weeks. Mr. Li was in a noise complaint war with the family, citing noisy toilet seats and other instances of unrest where he reportedly lost sleep.
Li was a Ph.D. chemistry student at the University of South Florida, where he allegedly used its laboratory facilities to make the cocktail to poison his neighbors. He was subsequently arrested and charged by police. He’s been expelled from USF, and the apartment complex is trying to evict him (via NY Post):
Xuming Li, 36, used a “laboratory on the University of South Florida campus to mix and load liquid syringes on multiple occasions with the intent to harm residents of the condominium,” the breach of contract filing by the building’s owners association states.
Li was a Ph.D. chemistry student at the university until summer 2023, USF confirmed to WFLA.
The chemist was arrested on June 27 after his neighbor, Umar Abdullah, caught him on a hidden camera crouching down and squirting a clear liquid into a crack in the door frame.
Abdullah told local outlet WFLA that he, his pregnant wife, and their young daughter moved into the complex directly above Li in June 2022.
Li soon began sending angry texts to his new neighbors, complaining that he was losing sleep over the sound of a toilet seat clanging.
Soon after, the family suddenly began experiencing unexplained bouts of nausea and dizziness.
“I look at my daughter,” Abdullah recalled. “Her eyes were full of tears. She was not crying, but her eyes were full of tears.”
NBC has more:
Li was arrested on June 27 and charged with one count of felony aggravated stalking, three counts of dispersing a chemical agent and one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged with battery on a law enforcement officer for exposing an officer to the chemicals.
The Oxford Place at Tampa Palms Condominium Association filed a complaint against Li on July 19 in the thirteenth judicial circuit court to provide a final judgement of eviction.
The association claims Li breached his contract when he allegedly injected chemicals into his neighbor’s unit, making residents feel unsafe.
The association also requests the court to grant an injunction requiring Li to “immediately cease and desist of any harassment, threats of physical violence, assault, battery, intimidation and quality of life,” as well as pay $50,000 in damages and the association’s attorney’s fees.
The Post added that Li is out on bond but due in court again on December 5.