Florida student accused of injecting opioid 'chemical agent' under neighbor's door
"He complained about footsteps. He complained about door closing sounds," Abdullah said. "My landlord and I did a simulation, and we could hardly find any sound"
August 29, 2023 6:55am
Updated: August 29, 2023 6:56am
A chemistry student from Tampa, Florida was arrested for allegedly injecting an opioid “chemical agency” underneath a neighbor’s door because they "were too noisy," police said.
Umar Abdullah and his pregnant wife moved into their new apartment in Tampa in June 2022. Soon after, however, he began receiving text messages from his downstairs neighbor, Xuming Li, complaining that he was losing sleep because of the noises coming from their apartment.
"He complained about footsteps. He complained about door closing sounds," Abdullah said. "My landlord and I did a simulation, and we could hardly find any sound."
Months later, Abdullah, his wife, and their newborn daughter began to fall ill. They felt dizzy and were vomiting.
“I look at my daughter,” Abdullah told WFLA. “Her eyes were full of tears. She was not crying, but her eyes were full of tears.”
A friend, who was picking up a package for Abdullah while he was on vacation, noticed a chemical smell coming from the apartment. The family tried incessantly to find where the “obnoxious” smell came from. However, the air conditioning company found no problems with their unit and the plumber found nothing wrong with the water heater.
Abdullah even called the fire department, but their tests did not show anything.
“I never thought after all this that no,” Abdullah said. “I’m just imagining this. No.”
Suspecting that their neighbor Li might have done something, Abdullah set a hidden camera outside his doorway.
To his surprise, the footage revealed Li apparently taking out a syringe, filling it with liquid, and inserting it into Abdullah’s door frame.
“We were shaking,” Abdullah continued. “We can’t imagine that he is coming and doing something.”
They immediately got out of their apartment and called the police. Li, a doctoral chemistry student at the University of Southern Florida, was soon after arrested by Tampa police. He is being charged with several felony charges, including possession of a controlled dangerous substance and battery.
"If we could not have found that incident on the camera, probably after a few days, we might have been dead," Abdullah said.
A hazmat test revealed that he was using a “liquid chemical agent” that contained methadone and hydrocodone—opioid pain medications.