Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, 42, is suspected in a coffee poisoning incident that allegedly caused her boyfriend, a fellow doctor, to fall ill and require hospitalization.
The coffee poisoning allegations go back to January, when Gonzalez-Angulo served Dr. George Blumenschein a “sweet” cup of coffee, despite his preference for black coffee. Blumenschein objected to the coffee’s taste, and Gonzales-Angulo explained that she added sugar free sweetener Splenda to the drink.
According to ABC, Blumenschein then asked for a fresh cup of coffee, and Gonzalez-Angulo insisted he finish the first cup before drinking a new one. The second cup of coffee, Blumenthal stated, was just as sweet as the first.
Following the suspected coffee poisoning, Blumenschein was hospitalized 16 hours later for symptoms including loss of fine motor skills, slurred speech, and loss of balance, though the symptoms had set in far earlier. Once he was treated, doctors determined that renal failure, central nervous system depression and cardiopulmonary issues had resulted from the possible poisoning, and that the dose of the suspected toxin — antifreeze — had been a potentially fatal amount.
Blumenschein survived, and Gonzales-Angulo was charged with aggravated assault of a family member for the coffee poisoning incident. After his alleged exposure to potentially fatal levels of ethylene glycol, Blumenschein required dialysis.
Both doctors work as oncologists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and Gonzalez-Angulo is on paid administrative leave. Derek Hollingsworth, the doctor’s lawyer, says of his client and the coffee poisoning accusations:
“She is a distinguished citizen and scientist, and these allegations are totally inconsistent with her personal and professional life … Although I have all the respect in the world for law enforcement, it is clear to me that the University of Texas Police Department jumped the gun in this case and filed charges that should never have been filed.”
He adds: “We will continue to completely cooperate with them … I am comfortable that ultimately, they will do the right thing.”
The doctor was arrested on coffee poisoning charges on May 29, and her bail was set at $50,000.