Will anyone in the media or police dare ask the obvious? via Woman Arrested at SJ Starbucks for Potential Orange Juice Poisoning | NBC Bay Area.
A 50-year-old pharmacist was arrested Monday night after police say she removed two bottles of orange juice from a bag – which they say were filled with rubbing alcohol – and placed them on the shelf with other refrigerated items at a Starbucks in San Jose.
San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer took Ramineh Behbehanian of San Jose into custody on an attempted murder charge because the orange juice contained what police said were lethal quantities of isopropyl alcohol. She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
She has no criminal record in Santa Clara County, according to court records. Late Tuesday, sources confirmed for NBC Bay Area that Behbehanian is a pharmacist working for a company owned by Johnson and Johnson.
Authorities are still not sure why she would have allegedly mixed rubbing alcohol with some orange juice in the afternoon, left the bottles in the refrigerated section alongside some yogurt and milk, and left the Snell Avenue store about 3:30 p.m.
“Why would she do such a thing?” Chris Africa said, standing outside the Starbucks on Tuesday morning. “Was she trying to poison us?”
An alert customer standing behind her in line spotted her taking out her own bottles of juice from a green Starbucks bag, and put them in the refrigerator section. He also noticed a toxic smell. He told management. The woman might have felt under suspicion, police said, but a Starbucks employee got her license plate.
“A lot of people out there may have seen something and probably dismissed it,” Dwyer said. “But I believe that person saved lived by doing that.”
The San Jose Fire Department responded to the scene, retrieved the bottles and tested the contents with hazardous materials equipment. It turned out, the bottles were filled with orange juice and rubbing alcohol.
On Tuesday morning, customer Brent Breyer said he was a little “apprehensive” about what happened at his usual Starbucks. He said he often brings his young daughter, who routinely grabs for items in the refrigerated section.
Police were able to track her down at her home, though no motive has surfaced.
Police haven’t revealed whom, if anyone, might have been targeted. But they felt strongly enough to arrest Ramineh Behbehanian on suspicion of attempted murder after the ploy was literally sniffed out by an alert customer and a sharp-eyed employee who took note of her car’s license plate number as she made a hasty exit. Initial tests of the bottles revealed them to have a potentially lethal amount of the household solvent.
“If it weren’t for the actions of that customer, I believe we’d be talking about a homicide right now,” said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a police spokesman.
The last time we posted on a California pharmacist it was California: Turkish pharmacist who aided al Qaeda gets 5 year sentence