Boston, MA: One of six Harvard Medical School researchers, who became ill after drinking coffee laced with a toxic chemical, says he does not see how the incident could have been an accident.
Matteo Iannacone, a postdoctoral intern, told The Associated Press on Monday that he immediately noticed a “weird” taste when he took a sip of the espresso he poured from a coffee maker near his research lab on Aug. 26. Within moments, he felt dizziness and a rapid heart-beat, but says his symptoms cleared up quickly.
Iannacone was informed last week that toxicology tests showed the coffee was laced with sodium azide (az-IDE’), a chemical preservative that is used in many research labs in the building.
“There’s just no freaking way this was an accident. How do you accidentally poison someone?”
His ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Hoyt, offered her own possible explanations. “Oh, it’s totally possible. Like, what if I’m walking to the lab with a vial of sodium azide in my hand and, like, I trip or whatever. Right? And the stuff just happened to splash in there?”
“Or, let’s say that Matteo was a big jerk and was hitting on your best friend and you were so upset that on the way to the lab you were crying so much that you couldn’t see well and bumped right into the coffee counter and spilled something in the coffee? That’s possible, right?”
Another interpretation came from Michael Greene, Iannacone’s colleague and Hoyt’s current significant other. “Not to sound conniving, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Matteo thought the sodium azide was his coffee. He was never very good at keeping his lab space clean, and always had trouble mixing solvents and acids.”
“Nevermind the fact that he has a small penis…so I’ve heard,” continued Greene.
Harvard University police are investigating.