Wake Up and Smell the Antifreeze

Teen admits to poisoning his mother's coffee

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Nov 27, 2009  |  Updated 11:30 AM CDT
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What a great son.

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When Michael Tangney Jr. prepared his mother's coffee last week, he added the usual ingredients: cream, sugar, antifreeze...?

Tangney, 18, was charged on Thanksgiving Day with a Class X felony of allegedly poisoning his mother by pouring antifreeze in her coffee maker.

The Lindenhurst man reportedly tainted the drip machine, knowing his 40-year-old mother would drink from it. He was charged with heinous battery, reports the Sun-Times.

According to police, the mother and son had an argument last week, and Tangney had placed the poison in her coffee about a week ago.

"The ethylene glycol did its work over days," said Lindenhurst Police Cmdr George Moravec.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, ingestion of the synthetic liquid (used to make antifreeze) affects the central nervous system and can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Poisoning is potentially fatal if treatment is delayed.

The mother was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center on Monday. She was in critical condition but is expected to survive.

"The treatment she received was positive," Moravec told the Daily Herald.

After the police told Tangney's father they suspected poisoning, he consented to a search of the family home and vehicle.

Tangney confessed to pouring the antifreeze in his mother's coffee, but he said he did it as a practical joke, according to police.

Tangney was arrested on Wednesday and is currently being held at Lake County Jail in Waukegan.

And you thought your Thanksgiving was stressful.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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