California Dermatologist Arrested For "Poisoning Her Husband" After He Set Up Camera to Prove It

Man alleges he was poisoned by liquid drano.

A California dermatologist has been arrested for poisoning her husband—after the man set up a video camera that allegedly recorded her attempting to poison him. "He first started noticing something was wrong in March or April, and when he had further testing done, he began to have pretty significant symptoms," said the man's lawyer. "That's when he started to equate the chemical tastes to the symptoms he was experiencing." Read on to find out more about this case that seems ripped from the writer's room of Law & Order.

1
Did Video Catch an Attempted Murderer?

@Realtor

Daily Mail reported that Dr. Yue P. "Emily" Yu was arrested last Thursday outside her dermatology office in Mission Viejo, California, about 15 miles from her home in Irvine. Police said that Yu's husband called the Irvine Police Department that day, reporting he was "being poisoned by his wife" and had evidence on video. 

2
Man Alleges He Was Poisoned by Liquid Drano

Drain cleaner Drano
Shutterstock

Irvine Police Lt. Bill Bingham said that officers watched the video taken by Yu's husband. "The allegations that were made by the husband was incredibly serious and we thought it was important to take quick investigative action on the case based on the allegation," he said. 

On Monday night, the New York Post identified the man as radiologist Jack Chen, 53, and reported that the poison was Liquid Drano. Yu allegedly poured it into a hot lemonade drink, and Chen had consumed the beverage at least three times in July. He reportedly had felt ill for a few months prior.  

3
Husband Granted Restraining Order

Senior man with stomach pain
iStock

In a Friday court filing seeking a temporary restraining order against his wife, Chen described video evidence of the poisoning: "This video (from July 18) shows me taking a sip of my still-hot lemonade, covering my cup with Saran wrap, and then of Emily taking the Draino (sic) from under the sink, removing the covering to pour the Draino, and then replacing the cellophane and putting the Draino (sic) back." 

In the filing, Chen said he had two stomach ulcers, gastritis and inflammation in his esophagus from the alleged poisoning.

The temporary restraining order was granted by the court. Chen also filed for divorce the same day. The couple has been married for a decade.

4
Husband Alleges Abuse

sad wife and husband, angry couple in bedroom
Shutterstock

The Post reported that Chen alleged his wife and his mother-in-law verbally, physically and emotionally abused him and their two children, ages eight and seven. "Emily would call me… insults," Chen said in the filing. "Currently she minimizes my existence by telling the children in front of me, 'tell him' to do something without addressing me. She would have the children to tell me to do menial tasks for her."

"Emily's parenting, if you could call it that, revolves around yelling, insulting, verbally abusing, hitting, pushing, pulling and being emotionally abusive," he added.

5
Intentional Poisonings Rare

poison bottle with death symbol on tag, ancient rome facts
Shutterstock

"Our detectives contacted Yu as she was leaving her place of employment. They interviewed her, and following her interview, detectives placed her under arrest," Bingham told Daily Mail. "She was arrested under a section of California law that alleges she willfully placed a poison or harmful substance in food, drink, medicine or pharmaceutical product."

But as of Monday night, no charges had been filed against Emily Yu, who was released from custody after posting bond. Bingham told Daily Mail that accusations of intentional poisoning are not common. "I've been doing this 22 years, and this is a highly unusual and unique case," he said. 

6
Attorney Denies Poisoning Occurred 

Judge gavel and scale in court
Shutterstock

An attorney for Yu, David Wohl, told the Post his client "absolutely and unequivocally" denies poisoning her husband and abusing him and their children. "The only response I have to that is that (Chen's) desperately trying to get a leg up in the divorce," he said. "Consider the fact that he's filed for divorce and he wants to get any advantage he has. This is a very common scenario, in my law practice of more than 33 years."

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •