WASHINGTON – A nomadic medical technician who wandered in and out of hospital jobs from the desert Southwest to New England was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in connection with a Hepatitis C outbreak that infected more than 30 patients at a New Hampshire hospital with the potentially life-threatening disease, and possibly 4,000 more in Pennsylvania, Maryland and other states.
David M. Kwiatkowski, a 33-year-old former radiology tech, was charged with seven counts of tampering with a consumer product and seven counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. A carrier of the virus himself, he allegedly stole hospital syringes, injected himself, then secretly placed the tainted syringes for use on hospital patients.
He has carried the disease since at least June 2010, authorities said, and they believe he purposely sought to infect as many others as he could as he crisscrossed the country, accepting and leaving new jobs at hospitals and healthcare facilities. When he was found in a Holiday Inn motel room in Massachusetts, officers discovered six types of medication and various pills scattered on the floor and a glass table.
He was drunk, disheveled and confused, and reportedly left a suicide note to a friend, according to police reports. “Please call [her] and let her know I passed away,” Kwiatkowski allegedly wrote. “Tell her I couldn’t handle this stress anymore. … She’ll know what to do.”