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Dermatologist arrested after her husband secretly recorded her allegedly poisoning him with Drano, documents show

Dr. Yue Yu, 45, was arrested Thursday, said police in Irvine, California. Her husband of 10 years said he fell ill “over the course of one month” and suspected she was behind it.

A California dermatologist has been arrested after her husband secretly recorded her allegedly poisoning him by pouring Drano into his drinks, according to officials and a filing for a restraining order.

Dr. Yue Yu, 45, was arrested Thursday and booked into the Orange County Jail, the Irvine Police Department said in a news release. She was released Friday after posting $30,000 bond.

Her husband of 10 years, who was not identified by police, contacted Irvine authorities Thursday, saying he suspected Yu was poisoning him. An attorney for the husband identified him as Dr. Jack Chen, 53, a radiologist.

In a bid to catch his wife in the act, the husband "placed cameras in the home that surreptitiously recorded evidence in the case," and shared the video with police, Lt. Bill Bingham told NBC News. 

Police arrived at the couple's home with a search warrant the same day, interviewed Yu and subsequently arrested her.

Yu, who has not been formally charged in the case, “vehemently and unequivocally denies ever attempting to poison her husband or anyone else,” her attorney, David E. Wohl, said.

According to police, the husband fell ill “over the course of one month” and sustained “significant internal injuries.”

Chen's attorney said his client filed for a restraining order against Yu on Friday. He filed for divorce the same day, court records show.

Chen said in the filing for a restraining order that he caught Yu on video on three occasions putting the drain cleaner into his hot lemonade drink.

An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu.
An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu.via Hittelman Family Law Group
An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu and her husband Jack Chen.
An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu and her husband, Dr. Jack Chen.via Hittelman Family Law Group
An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu.
An alleged screen grab of Dr. Yue Yu.via Hittelman Family Law Group

The alleged poisonings happened July 11, 18 and 25, according to the filing.

In the July 18 incident, Chen allegedly covered his cup with plastic wrap. When he was gone, Yu took the drain cleaner from under the kitchen sink, removed the cellophane covering, poured the liquid into the lemonade, then replaced the cellophane, the filing said.

Chen said he started noticing a “chemical taste” in his lemonade in March and April. He went to a doctor who diagnosed him with two stomach ulcers, gastritis and inflammation of the esophagus. The health issues prompted him to set up the cameras. 

The couple married in 2012 and have two children, ages 7 and 8. 

Yu is a dermatologist affiliated with Providence Mission Hospital.

A spokesperson for the hospital said Yu is a dermatologist with Mission Heritage Medical Group, which serves communities in South Orange County, and her office is not located in the hospital. 

"This is an active police investigation and Mission Heritage Medical Group is cooperating fully with the Irvine Police Department," the spokesperson said. "The incident is a domestic matter which occurred in Irvine, and we want to reassure our community that there has been no impact on our patients."

Wohl, Yu’s attorney, said his client, who goes by her first name Emily, is “a well-respected physician.”

“Her goal has always been to help people and never to harm people. Accordingly, she also strongly denies her husband’s claims of abusing him and their children emotionally and physically," he added.

"We are very concerned that these false allegations have been made by her husband in an attempt to gain an advantage in his recently filed divorce and custody case against her," Wohl said.

A spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said they are still reviewing evidence and have not made a filing decision yet. Yu isn’t due in court until Nov. 3, 2022.