CHEMIST CHARGED WITH STEAL­ING, DUMP­ING CYANIDE

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WORLD -

WAR­RING­TON, PA.

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.

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