Berkeley chemical engineer charged with trying to poison co-worker

BERKELEY, California -- A Berkeley engineer is in jail, charged with attempted murder, after police say he tried to poison a co-worker.

Morgan Davis just found out her longtime Lafayette neighbor, David Xu, is under arrest. She saw police on her street just days ago.

"I saw three officers in black with the city of Berkeley on the back," Davis said.

Xu is a chemical engineer at Berkeley Engineering and Research, and police say he's accused of trying to kill a colleague by poisoning her food and water.

The Alameda County criminal complaint reveals "toxic amounts of Cadmium" were used.

Court papers say the victim noticed a "strange taste and smell from her water and food," which she had left unattended in her office. The woman became sick, and her relatives also got sick last fall when they drank from her water bottle.

Court documents say surveillance footage from the woman's office showed Xu adding a substance to the woman's water bottle on two occasions.

Water samples taken from the bottle tested positive for cadmium. The alleged poisoning lasted almost a year and a half.

"That's insane, can't imagine anyone trying to poison anyone," Davis said.

BEAR Lab had no comment about the arrest.

Xu's LinkedIn page says he has served as an engineering expert witness and consultant in materials and chemicals.

Someone at his Lafayette home declined to comment and asked us to leave.

A motive remains unknown. Xu remains in the Berkeley jail.

The victim is recovering. She declined to comment.

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