Xuming Li allegedly caught on camera in chemical attack
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Xuming Li allegedly caught on camera in chemical attack

Aug 19, 2023

A Florida man, identified as Xuming Li, injects a chemical substance into a door frame; Li also appears in a mugshot, inset on the left; a closeup of the syringe used in the chemical attack appears inset on the right. (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

A Florida man is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly being caught on surveillance footage in what appears to be an attempt to slowly poison his neighbors using weaponized opioid injections.

Xuming Li, 36, stands accused of three counts of battery, two counts of aggravated stalking, and one count each of burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and battery on law enforcement, according to Hillsborough County court records reviewed by Law&Crime.

The bizarre allegations came after the victims of the attacks secretly filmed the assailant injecting drugs into their condominium.

Umar Abdullah and his then-pregnant wife moved into their new home in June 2022, the husband told Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA. In time, the couple’s baby girl was born and the sounds of new life filled the residence — apparently upsetting their downstairs neighbor.

Abdullah said the defendant began to text him about the smallest noises — like a toilet seat moving — complaining that he couldn’t sleep.

“He complained about footsteps,” Abdullah explained to Tampa-based Fox affiliate WTVT. “He complained about door closing sounds. My landlord and I did a simulation, and we could hardly find any sound.”

The complaints from the man downstairs continued for months, Abdullah said. His defenses against the claims of noisiness did as well.

Then the family started getting sick — grogginess, vomiting, and more. At first, Abdullah said, the illnesses were a mystery. When the family went on vacation, however, a friend noticed a distinct chemical smell. Once the family returned, they noticed the smell as well: something like nail polish remover, Abdullah told WFLA, but more “obnoxious.”

“I look at my daughter,” the father told the TV station. “Her eyes were full of tears. She was not crying, but her eyes were full of tears.”

Realizing the smell was likely the culprit for the spate of sickness, the family tried everything they could to isolate and eradicate the source. An air conditioning company struck out. As did a plumber who checked the water heater — which the landlord even had replaced. The air ducts and vents were cleaned.

But the smell came back — again and again and again. Even the local fire department’s own experts couldn’t figure it out.

Eventually, the new father realized there was a small crack in the corner of his front door. His thoughts went back to his neighbor.

“I installed a hidden camera outside, because we were suspecting someone is basically tampering with our place from outside,” Abdullah said in comments to WTVT. “And then we got our neighbor injecting something through our door.”

According to a Tampa Police Department affidavit filed in the case and obtained by WFLA, a hazardous materials test determined Li was injecting a “liquid” that law enforcement termed a “chemical agent” into the crack in the family’s door. Testing showed the presence of both methadone and hydrocodone in that agent.

“Even during war, the worst enemies do not attack the opponent, the other party, with chemicals,” Abdullah told WFLA — referencing the widely-acknowledged international humanitarian law prohibition against the use of chemical weapons in state conflicts.

Li was arrested in late June and quickly made bond. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Footage showing the alleged injection — in which the defendant can be seen crouching down near the family’s door with a syringe in his right hand — was only recently released.

The defendant is currently slated to appear in court on Dec. 5 for a hearing in his case, Hillsborough County court records show.

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