UPDATE: Police allege employees tried to poison their boss with engine coolant
One man has been charged, another is wanted by Toronto Police for allegedly trying to poison their boss with engine coolant.
It played out at a BMW dealership near the DVP and Eastern Ave on Tuesday.
A man described by police as a supervisor at the dealership took a swig from a water bottle and knew immediately that he'd taken a mouthful of something other than water. He went to a nearby pharmacy and then to a hospital to be checked out and was ultimately found to be okay.
Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu tells NEWSTALK 1010 surveillance video from the dealership allegedly shows two men taking the water bottle in question from a common area, filling it with what police believe to be engine coolant and returning the bottle to its original location.
A man Det. Tom Syrmbos describes as an employee junior to the supervisor has been charged.
34-year-old Rahim Jaffer faces a charge of administering noxious substance.
Sidhu says police are trying to track down a second man in the case. He could face the same charge or one as serious as attempted murder.
NEWSTALK 1010 medical correspondent Dr. Mitch Shulman said putting engine coolant into someone's drink is no joke.
"As little as a single mouthful, a swig, can be enough to get an adult sick...it's one of the most serious intoxications that we deal with in emergency medicine."
Without medical intervention, Shulman says ingesting just a little coolant could kill someone in a matter of days. But there is a telltale sign that they may be in danger.
"Typically this has a sweet, syrupy taste and so people will often notice that there's something wrong with whatever it is that they're drinking and that's what saves them."
Early symptoms of poisoning from ethylene glycol, the major component in engine coolant, include feelings of intoxication, nausea, vomiting, headaches and lack of co-ordination. The danger increases as the body metabolizes the poison. After 12 hours without treatment, dehydration, elevated heart and breathing rates and a soaring blood pressure can present themselves. In one to three days there could be kidney failure, coma, and death.
While the boss reportedly took an activated charcoal tablet after taking the drink of coolant, Shulman says it wouldn't have helped absorb the toxins in his body.
"We definitely have antidotes but activated charcoal is not something we recommend people use, nor do we try to make them vomit. That's also very dangerous."