USA: The trial opened this week in New York of the owner of an HVAC company accused of trying to poison a family by putting mercury in their new air conditioning unit.
Yuriy Kruk, 48, is charged with attempted assault in mercury poisoning of a family in the Queens district of New York, who had persistently complained about the malfunctioning air conditioning unit.
The defendant allegedly had a final fix for the complainers and is alleged to have placed poisonous mercury in the new air conditioner. Prosecutors claim that exposure to the element can be fatal over time and did make the residents sick. Fortunately a family member spotted the chemical
According to the indictment, the victim, Roman Pinkhasov hired A+ HVAC and Kitchen Corporation – owned and operated by Kruk – to carry out work in his home. The victim persistently complained that the air conditioning unit on the second floor wasn’t working properly. In the summer of 2015, the defendant told the homeowner that the system could not be repaired and would need to be replaced and installed a new unit in July 2015.
After the installation Mr Pinkhasov’s wife Olga Yurgaueva is said to have found drops of a silver substance on the floor. In August 2015, Mr Pinkhasov also found several more drops of the silver material in the vents and where the defendant had been working in the house. The New York City Fire Department’s hazardous materials unit, who were called to the property, recovered additional mercury from the first floor vent and other parts of the AC units on both floors.
The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and can be fatal.
The family of three – the parents and their son – are said to have tested positive for above normally acceptable mercury levels. All three victims complained of various symptoms associated with mercury poisoning, including joint pain, headaches and lethargy.
The defendant is charged with second-degree attempted assault and first- and fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment.