Nelson Ramos has been charged with tampering with the coffee of one of his colleagues at the HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center in Arizona. The alleged incident occurred in January and Ramos was formally charged in April. He was employed as an anesthesia tech but no longer works for HonorHealth.
The alleged victim has been identified as Mr. Maxwell, a medical device representative, who is not employed by the hospital but sits in on surgeries to assist surgeons with the equipment he sells. According to the police, Maxwell set his coffee on a shelf in a hallway outside of the operating room and would go out to take a sip in between surgical procedures.
But he started to suspect that someone was tampering with his beverage.
“I felt a burning sensation,” Maxwell told reporters after the alleged incident. “Then I popped the cap, smelled it, and it smelled like bleach.”
“They told me to rush to the ER because there was a chemical in that drink. But my patient was under and we couldn’t compromise that, so I had to go finish the surgery,” said Maxwell.
After the staff finished the surgery, the police arrived to investigate. They reviewed the security footage and found evidence of Ramos tampering with Maxwell’s cup of coffee.
“Once Scottsdale PD showed up, I was made aware that there was footage of an individual putting stuff in my drink,” said Maxwell.
Ramos was formally charged after he admitted to pouring Betasept, an antiseptic surgical scrub, into Maxwell’s coffee as a “prank.”
The medical device rep said he suffered from stomach pains and acid reflux for two weeks after the incident. “I would say I had the most two weeks of uncomfortable stomach pains. You can’t eat. The acid reflux was extremely bad, and then that would be worse because it actually kept burning,” said Maxwell.
“HonorHealth has fully cooperated with the local law enforcement agency involved in this investigation,” the health system said in a statement. “The employee in question is no longer employed by our organization.”
Maxwell also said he learned that Ramos tried to get a job as an anesthesia tech at another hospital after the incident. He also worries about future health complications after drinking bleach.
“What’s going to happen in 10, 15, 20 years from now? I have no clue. I could have stomach cancer in 10 years. No clue. That’s the problem,” said Maxwell.