Visine Poisoning: Man Allegedly Put Eye Drops in Girlfriend's Drink

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 11:29 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A California man was arrested for reportedly poisoning his girlfriend by putting Visine eye drops in her drink.

The Nevada County Sheriff's Office in Grass Valley arrested Shayne Carpenter, 27, on poisoning and domestic violence charges last Thursday. His girlfriend, who is recovering from the alleged poisoning, contacted police after feeling ill and finding suspicious text messages on Carpenter's phone.

"He was making texts to his buddies that said if 'she's going to be talking crap then she's going to be crapping,'" Lt. Steve Tripp of the Sheriff's Department, told ABC News affiliate KXTV News 10.

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Tetrahydrozoline is a chemical commonly found in over-the-counter nasal sprays and eye drops including Visine, used to treat redness in the eyes. If ingested, the chemical can cause nausea, vomiting, seizures, respiratory failure, and can even induce a coma, according to the National Institutes of Health.

As part of the investigation, police recorded phone conversations between Carpenter and his girlfriend.

"We got admissions from him over the phone, when he was admitting to her that he had done this," Tripp told KXTV.

Carpenter was reportedly released from jail Friday after posting $25,000 bail.

Last summer, a Pennsylvania woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment after police say she slipped Visine into her boyfriend's water several times over a three-year period.

"She never meant to kill him, only wanted him to pay more attention to her," read an affidavit of probable cause filed in a Pennsylvania district judge's office in August.

The woman's boyfriend had been treated for various symptoms including blood pressure fluctuation and vomiting, and his doctor eventually contacted police to voice his suspicions that his patient was being poisoned with Visine.

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The woman faces 30 charges that carry a maximum combined sentence of 240 years in jail and more than $300,000 in fines.

Related stories:

Venezuela Blames Chavez's Worsened Condition on Enemies' Poison

Deadly Poison in Your Mouth

Experts Exhume Arafat's Body; Seek Evidence of Poison

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