A Pennsylvania teen was charged with attempted murder after he left a ricin-laced letter for his ex's new boyfriend.
A SWAT team and police wearing Hazmat suits took 19-year-old Nicholas Todd Helman into custody without incident Wednesday after they received a tip from one of his coworkers.
Helman allegedly confided to a coworker at Target that he had left a poisoned letter for his ex-girlfriend’s new love interest.
He said he rubbed ground castor beans inside a scratch-and-sniff birthday card and that it would kill anyone who came in contact with it.
"Warminster Township police officers responded to that residence immediately and we were able to intercept the correspondence from the mailbox," Antoneeta Stancu, of the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, told WPVI-TV.
A girl who lived at the home had just picked up the card, when police phoned the residence. Her mother told her to put it back in the mailbox, The Intelligencer reported.
Police burst into Helman’s Hatboro apartment Wednesday and took both him and a woman into custody. Both had to go through decontamination procedures.
Helman is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe, terroristic threats and other charges. He is being held without bail at the Bucks County jail.
The woman was later released without charges.
"Preliminary lab results on the white powder that was found in the correspondence did prove to test positive for the toxin of ricin," said Stancu.
“Frankly, there is no reason to believe that any member of the community is at risk, but every precaution has been taken at this point,” she added.
“The individual was taken into custody and we do not believe there was any threat to public safety in relation to these events,” said Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner.
Helman is reportedly awaiting a psychiatric evaluation.