A Florida chemistry student was caught on a neighbor’s hidden camera allegedly injecting an opioid âchemical agentâ underneath their front door, causing the family and their newborn baby to fall ill, according to police.
Umar Abdullah and his pregnant wife moved into their new condo in Tampa in June 2022 and were warmly welcomed by other residents in the building.
Shortly after, however, Abdullah began receiving texts from his disgruntled downstairs neighbor, Xuming Li, a seemingly “regular guy” who complained about losing sleep and hearing the toilet seat move, he told WFLA.
After months of quarreling, Abdullah said he, his wife, and their daughter started feeling dizzy and vomiting.
âI look at my daughter,â Abdullah told the outlet. âHer eyes were full of tears. She was not crying, but her eyes were full of tears.â
A friend first noticed the chemical smell while retrieving a package for Abdullah while he and his family were away on vacation. When he returned, he said he noticed an odor he described as more âobnoxiousâ than nail polish remover.
He called the air conditioning company, who found no problems. Then he called a plumber who also found nothing wrong with the water heater, where the smell appeared to be emanating from. His landlord replaced the heater and he even had his air ducts and vents cleaned â but the chemical smell persisted.
Abdullah even called the fire department, but again, their tests revealed nothing.
âI never thought after all this that no,â Abdullah said. âIâm just imagining this. No.â
But then, confident there was an issue, he said he âstarted sniffing that place like a dog.â When he searched his doorway, he found a small crack in the corner. Suspecting his neighbor Yi may have something to do with his familyâs illness, he set up a hidden camera outside.
When Abdullahâs daughter became sick again, he checked the footage that showed Yi crouching down outside of his door â but it was not clear what his neighbor was doing.
âWe were shaking,â Abdullah recalled to WFLA. âWe canât imagine that he is coming and doing something.â
He adjusted the hidden camera angle and when his daughter was ill again, he checked the footage.
This time, the video showed Yi appearing to take a syringe out, fill it with liquid, then inject the liquid into the crack in Abdullahâs door frame, according to WFLA.
Abdullah immediately got his family out of the home and called police.
Li was arrested by Tampa police and slapped with a number of felony charges, including possession of a controlled dangerous substance and burglary.
A hazmat test revealed the âliquid chemical agentâ contained a combination of methadone and hydrocodone â both opioid pain medications.
Li is listed as a PhD. chemistry student at the University of Southern Florida, but the school told the outlet he had not been enrolled since the summer 2023 semester ended.
He was released on bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on Dec. 5.
He is separately facing a lawsuit from Abdullah for domestic violence and from the condo association for breach of contract.
Abdullahâs daughter just celebrated her first birthday at the apartment â but he says he is looking to move his family elsewhere.
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