CHEMIST CHARGED WITH STEALING, DUMPING CYANIDE
A chemist stole potassium cyanide from his workplace to use as pest control at home and poured it down a suburban Philadelphia storm drain when he learned there was an investigation, prosecutors said.
Richard O’Rourke, 60, has been charged with risking a catastrophe, theft, receiving stolen property and recklessly endangering others. He’s accused of taking about a cup of potassium cyanide from the Merck & Co. facility in Montgomery County in December.
A co-worker witnessed him pouring potassium cyanide into a beaker and then into a Nalgene water bottle on Dec. 14, then leaving the building, according to a release from District Attorney Kevin Steele. That worker informed authorities, and O’Rourke later dumped the chemical near his Warrington home about 48 kilometres north of Philadelphia, after learning there was an investigation.