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Lindenhurst man held on poisoning charge
By Mick Zawislak | Daily Herald Staff

Michael J. Tangney Jr.


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Published: 11/26/2009 11:05 AM | Updated: 11/26/2009 5:16 PM

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An 18-year-old Lindenhurst man remained in custody Thursday on charges that he tried to poison his mother, according to police.

Michael J. Tangney Jr., who listed his parent's address of 381 Northgate Road, was in the Lake County jail pending a bond hearing Friday on a charge of heinous battery, a Class X felony. Police said more charges are expected.

According to Lindenhurst police, Tangney Jr. caused "severe and great bodily harm" to his mother, Joyce, by pouring antifreeze into a coffee maker knowing she would drink from it.

"He is sticking to the reason that it was a practical joke," Lindenhurst Police Commander George Moravec said Thursday.

Joyce Tangney was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center on Monday. Police on Thursday said she remained there and was expected to survive but would not give a description of her condition.

"The treatment she received was positive," Moravec said. Hospital staff on Thursday would not release any information.

Moravec said Joyce Tangney had ingested an undisclosed amount of antifreeze days before she was hospitalized.

"It transpired last week," he said. "The ethylene glycol did its work over days."

Ethylene glycol is a synthetic liquid used to make antifreeze and de-icing solutions. Exposure to large amounts can damage the kidneys, nervous system, lungs and heart, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry.

Police said they received a call Tuesday from Joyce Tangney's husband, who said his 40-year-old wife was in the hospital in critical condition. The medical staff told him there was a possibility of poisoning, Lindenhurst police said.

Because of the circumstances, the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force was consulted and potential witnesses, including family members and hospital staff were interviewed, according to Lindenhurst police. The family home and a vehicle were searched with the consent of the owners, police said. Tangney Jr. was jailed Wednesday.

Moravec said Tangney Jr. recently moved out of his parents' home voluntarily.

No other family members were affected and there is no indication of danger to the public or witnesses, police said.