Updated 03/30/2012 07:17 PM
Police arrest man for placing mercury in hospital food
The man believed to be responsible for secretly planting mercury balls in a hospital cafeteria has been arrested. Christian Farrell has more on the suspect, a retired pharmacist.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "He seemed like a good gentleman. Then this happens and you say, Wow! What happened?" said Hamlet of Ruby resident Homer Weiss.
Weiss isn't the only Ruby resident to express shock over the arrest of a neighbor, Martin Kimber, 59. Kimber, police say, is the man in surveillance video who placed several metal balls made of the chemical mercury within a hospital cafeteria. The incident happened earlier this month at Albany Medical Center. It prompts attention from local authorities, the FBI and the state department of health.
"The one thing we do know, we can say that he was a patient at Albany Medical Center at one time. Whether he was disgruntled because of that it's hard to say. We don't know," said Albany Police spokesperson Steven Smith.
Police say a tip from someone seeing the hospital video lead them to the arrest of Kimber Thursday in the Town of Ulster. They say evidence found inside the retired pharmacist's home on Lena Lane also links him to the crime.
"You never saw him come out of his house. You never saw him in the yard or anything. He usually stayed in his house," said neighbor Joshua Rinaldo.
Upon news of Kimber's arrest, Albany Medical Center released a statement saying, "Albany Medical Center will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of every patient, staff member, student, and visitor in the Albany Med community. As this case shows, we will work with authorities to ensure that any individual who attempts to inflict harm on our community will be found and brought to justice."
Kimber is now in Albany County Jail without bail on charges of tampering with a consumer product in the first degree. A charge police say applies when someone is intentionally trying to cause physical injury, in this case, by making mercury an ingredient in hospital food.