A Florida doctor was arrested for allegedly drugging the drink of a woman he had taken out for dinner, police said.
Mircea Morariu, 50, was charged on Monday with poisoning food or water with intent to kill or cause injury after he allegedly placed crushed Xanax and Ambien into a date’s drink when she went to the restroom on Sept. 10, Boca Raton police said.
A customer at the Ouzo Bay restaurant told a manager she saw a man at the bar pour a powder-like substance into the woman’s drink while she was away from her seat, officials said.
When the woman returned, she was seen consuming the drink.
Management called police about 9 p.m. that night, and officers approached the man, later identified as Morariu, as he exited the restroom of the restaurant.
Morariu, a neurologist, denied slipping something into his date’s drink and said he didn’t want to talk with the officers any further. The police checked the restroom, where they allegedly found a clear plastic bag containing a white, powdery residue that had been thrown out.
Investigators collected the woman’s martini glass and the baggie as evidence, and the woman was brought to be evaluated at a local hospital, where blood and urine samples were taken.
The woman told police she had known Morariu for almost 20 years and that they had met to have a drink. She was shocked to hear he had allegedly put something in her drink, but said that when she returned to her seat, Morariu pushed the glass toward her and told her he wanted her to finish it, police said.
Management at the restaurant also checked their cameras and saw Morariu allegedly having contact with his date’s drink, Eric Smith, managing partner of the Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, told WPTV-TV.
Authorities said they determined the bag and martini glass taken into evidence contained traces of zolpidem, a sedative commonly known as Ambien. The bag also contained alprazolam, another sedative, commonly known as Xanax.
Toxicology analysis of the woman’s blood showed evidence of ethanol, alprazolam and zolpidem in her system. Combining alcohol with alprazolam and zolpidem can cause a person to become sleepy or unconscious.
Morariu was arrested in Jupiter on Monday and transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.
Police told WPTV-TV it took months to arrest Morariu because they were waiting on toxicology reports.
On Tuesday, Morariu was ordered to not have any contact with the woman he allegedly drugged. He will reportedly be released from police custody to enter an in-patient drug and alcohol treatment program.