A 12-year-old sixth-grader at a Pasadena middle school wa arrested and charged yesterday with poisoning her teacher by pouring a chemical into his open Coke can on Monday, Anne Arundel County police reported.
The teacher, Timothy Stephen Dahle, 42, of Annapolis, felt dizzy and light-headed for hours after drinking from the can but was not hospitalized. Mr. Dahle, a teacher at George Fox Middle School, was treated by his private physician, police reported.
The girl, who was not identified because she is a juvenile, wacharged yesterday with poisoning and with reckless endangerment after a weeklong investigation by Mr. Dahle, school officials and police. She was released to her parents, police said.
The incident occurred Monday at lunchtime, when Mr. Dahle drank his Coke and immediately recognized, through its smell and taste, a substance that the class used as a glue and that he kept in a small squeeze bottle on his desk. The substance was later identified as methylene chloride, a volatile liquid used as a solvent, refrigerant and dental anesthetic, according to police.
Mr. Dahle did not notify police or school officials, choosing instead to Aspeak to the students he suspected the next day. He asked them to take out a piece of paper and write down what they knew about the incident, and 18 of them identified the girl as the one who put the substance in the Coke can on his desk, police reported.
The teacher then notified an assistant principal, and the school administration began an investigation, which identified the girl as the suspect, according to a police report.
On Thursday, the last day of the Anne Arundel County school year, police detectives interviewed four students who said they witnessed the incident. Some of the students said the girl had done the same thing on an earlier date, police reported.
Police yesterday spoke with the girl's parents about the incident. They in turn contacted their lawyer, who advised the girl not to make any statements, police said.
The girl was arrested later yesterday at Eastern District station and charged as a juvenile, police reported.