Long Island dentist Robert Garelick was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment on Monday after allegedly attempting to operate on patients while being half in the bag.
Police became aware of the situation after Garelick’s hygenist, Kimberly Curtis, noticed the doctor acting as if he was under the influence and texted a co-worker who then called 911.
“I observed Dr. Garelick looking for cavities in the right side of the patient’s mouth, but the cavities were in the left side,” Curtis told police in a written statement. “I pointed this out to the doctor and that’s when he ordered more Novocain for the patient,” Curtis’ statement went on to say. “So now, he basically numbed the whole patient’s mouth.”
She reported that she had seen the doc drinking from a purple and white squeeze bottle before he began administering treatment. This prompted her to go into his office, where she found a bottle of vodka under the desk.
That’s when she sent the alerting text.
This was not the first time that the 57-year-old showed up to his office with booze in his system. Curtis revealed to police that she once had to call Garelick’s wife for help after he showed up to work so plastered he could barely stand up.
According to police, Garelick initially claimed that he had a couple beers while eating pizza for lunch, a claim he later retracted. “I never had any beers with my pizza. I’ve been sipping at that bottle all along today,” he reportedly said.
Garelick’s attorney, Randy Zelin, had this to say: “You have someone who has a very good record as a dentist. He’s never been in trouble before. He’s a family man, resident of the community lives in the community, works in the community.”