WATERBURY — A former employee in the city’s parks department was arrested Wednesday after police say he laced his boss’s oatmeal with a gritty chemical substance that’s normally used for soaking up spills on roadways.
William Lampron, 43, of 7 Wood St., Naugatuck, was a longtime city worker who told police he poisoned his supervisor’s food after the two had a disagreement because he “was close to retiring and I wanted him to slow down with my work.”
Police said Lampron admitted to secretly placing “SpeedyDry” into the 50-year-old supervisor’s oatmeal. The chemical is a trade name for a combination of granular resin, cement and other substances that can be used for absorbing spills, police say.
The supervisor ate the poisoned oatmeal in November and had severe stomach problems afterward, according to Waterbury police spokesman Capt. Christopher Corbett.
The supervisor told police he kept a container of oatmeal in his office; after having the stomach troubles he checked the oatmeal, finding the absorbent chemical had been mixed with it.
The supervisor later told police he was having problems with one of his employees. Lampron and the supervisor had a disagreement over the standard of work he was doing, police said.
“He admitted that he had put SpeedyDry in his supervisor’s oatmeal,” Corbett said.
A doctor told the supervisor that the substance would clear out of his system in a few days, and the man recovered from the ingested chemical, according to Corbett. It did not appear that the amount the man ate was life-threatening, he said.
Police say they checked with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, finding that one of the substances in the absorbent, crystalline silica, is capable of causing cancer and intestinal distress if it’s ingested in large amounts.
Police seized the chemical-laced oatmeal as part of the investigation, but are still working to determine how much of the substance the supervisor ate and how much was in the oatmeal.
The absorbent, which resembles cat litter, can be used to soak up oil, antifreeze or other liquids that spill on the street following a car accident, among other uses.
Lampron, was placed on administrative leave, but resigned from his position on Monday.
He had worked for the city for close to 25 years. He made $50,330 in 2010, according to city records.
Lampron was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and second-degree reckless endangerment.
He was released on a $5,000 bond after he surrendered to police Wednesday. He’s due in Waterbury Superior Court later this month.