Court records claim that a former University of South Florida PhD student was caught using a hidden camera to inject toxins he had mixed in the campus’s chemistry lab, into his neighbor’s apartment, causing their infant to become ill.
Xuming Li was arrested on June 27, after Umar Abdallah caught him on surveillance video two times crouching near his front door, and using a syringe, to squirt a deadly mixture into his home.
How could anyone be so callous? Abdullah said in a Fox News Digital statement. “The incident still haunts our minds like the worst nightmare.”
Li complained for more than a full year about the noise coming from the apartment in Tampa, Florida that Abdullah and his wife moved into in June 2022.
Two months later, the couple welcomed their first child.
Li, a chemist who was working towards his Ph.D., was kept awake at night by heavy steps, furniture dragging, and a creaking toilet seat.
Abdullah claimed that his family tried everything to make Li feel at home, but it didn’t work and tensions continued. Records show that Li complained to the police about his neighbors’ noise in March and reported them to the homeowners association.
Early in June, the conflict began to take a troubling turn.
The Abdullahs noticed a foul odor, and began to experience alarming symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and stinging of their eyes.
Abdullah recalls, “To my surprise, my daughter was tearing up her nose and eyes, and vigorously scratching them while coughing.” His daughter was vomiting and refusing to eat.
A mechanic checked the AC unit and found no leakage of freon. Their landlord replaced their water heater because they were worried about gas escaping.
The symptoms continued to be troubling. Abdullah realized on June 25, that the smell near the door was more intense and concluded “someone” was poisoning his family.
He placed a hidden camera in the plant outside of the door. On June 26, the next day, his daughter vomited and coughed.
Abdullah checked his camera and saw Li had bent over in front of the door two minutes before she became ill. She then quickly ran away.
Abdullah wanted better footage. He waited and adjusted the camera.
Li is said to have struck again in the early evening on June 27. This time Abdullah recorded the attack and called the authorities.
The complaint states that a hazardous materials team found the substance to be a mixture of methadone , hydrocodone and opioids.
A report by the Tampa police states that a police officer and firefighters who were exposed to the toxic mixture developed rashes.
Abdullah said to Fox News Digital that the mixture was dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Inhaling the poison can cause toxins to enter the bloodstream quickly, which poses an even greater danger for babies.
Their daughter was treated in an emergency room. Abdullah said, “Seeing her tiny hands with intravenous catheters, and enduring painful pokes, tests, and treatments, tore me inside.”
The building’s owners’ association filed a lawsuit for breach of contract against Li who owns the apartment to try and kick him out.
Abdullah also filed a civil lawsuit against Li who faces seven counts of burglary and aggravated stalking, among other charges.
Adam Bantner declined to make any comment. Li was released under bond and will be back in court on December.
Li has been told by the University of South Florida that he will not be returning to the university after summer 2023.