FBI: Outbreak Suspect Dave Kwiatkowski Knew He Had Hepatitis C
Canton native was charged with starting an outbreak at hospital in New Hampshire.
David Kwiatkowski, the Canton native and former medical technician charged with spreading his hepatitis C to dozens of unsuspecting patients by stealing their drugs to get high, was a pathological liar who knew he had hepatitis C, according to a damning FBI report.
Documents portray Kwiatkowski as living in a fantasy world where he told friends he played baseball at the University of Michigan, had a fiance who tragically died, and was battling cancer. All those were lies, the FBI said.
"(I've) lied to a lot of people ... (and) fabricated my life," Kwiatkowski told police in an interview leading up to his arrest Thursday on charges of fraud and tampering.
Kwiatkowski, 32, faces 24 years in prison for allegedly injecting himself with drugs like Fentanyl, a powerful narcotic. The FBI said he would replace the needles with a solution to make it appear they were untouched – a tactic known as "drug diversion." The drugs were then used on unsuspecting patients in Exeter Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab, where 30 patients so far have come down with hepatitis C after they were exposed to dirty needles that allegedly came from Kwiatkowski.
There's a chance the victim toll could rise, as test results are still coming back on more than a thousand patients treated at the cath lab who may have been exposed to the outbreak. More than 100 in that group have already died, and investigators are trying to determine if hepatitis C caused their deaths. Kwiatkowski could face more serious charges if one of those patients indeed died from the hepatitis C he allegedly spread.
In an interview with Kwiatkowski, police asked him about the patients whom he might have infected with hepatitis C.
"You know, I'm more concerned about myself, my own well being," he told investigators. "That's all I'm really concerned about and I've learned here to just worry about myself and that's all I really care about now."
Kwiatkowski's co-workers became suspicious of him when they saw pinpricks on his arm and noticed he was often shaking and sweating. In one incident, a co-worker said Kwiatkowski's face was completely red and he was foaming at the mouth.
The FBI said Kwiatkowski knew he had hepatitis C in mid-2010. In 2011, he advised a girl he knew to get tested for the disease, according to the FBI's report. It didn't indicate if Kwiatkowski had sex with the woman, which is one way hepatitis C is transmitted.
After Kwiatkowski was interviewed by police about the New Hampshire outbreak, he fled to Massachusetts and shacked up in hotels. When he didn't show up to court for an unrelated charge of misconduct after a car crash, police found him in a hotel room where he was intoxicated and thinking about killing himself, according to the FBI report.
Kwiatkowski's Facebook page depicted him as a fun-loving sports fan who likes to fish and play disc golf. His favorite teams are the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions. He especially liked Lions' wide receiver Calvin Johnson. He also posted frequently about the health of his dog, "Pudge," named after the former Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.
He's from Canton, but was living in Exeter, NH, when he worked at the hospital.
Angela Minicuci from the Michigan Department of Community Health said she can not yet confirm Kwiatkowski's employment history in Michigan because of the ongoing investigation.
"The Michigan Department of Community Health is currently working with identified Michigan facilities to confirm employment history," Minicuci said in an email. "Next steps will be determined based on our findings, including any actions that may need to be taken for patient safety purposes."
Kwiatkowski's Facebook page also detailed his struggles with Crohn's Disease.
On Feb. 29, 2012 – also around the time he was allegedly stealing drugs – Kwiatkowski posted "Ugh, can't sleep body hurts !!!" on Facebook.
In August 2011 he posted, "When will things become normal again?"
On April 2, 2012, Kwiatkowski indicated he wanted to return to Michigan full-time for work.
"Beaumont hospital Friday am wants to talk with me. I didn't bring any dress cloths (sic) though," he posted.
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