A Rego Park man who runs his own maintenance company faces criminal charges for allegedly pouring mercury into a Queens family’s air conditioning unit after getting one too many complaints about the malfunctioning system.
Yuriy Kruk, 48, of Alderton Street owns and operates the A+ HVAC and Kitchen Corporation. According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, a Jamaica Estates family contacted Kruk during the summer of 2015 to perform various repairs to their home.
Prosecutors said the victim repeatedly complained to Kruk that the second-floor air conditioning unit wasn’t working properly. Kruk replied that the system needed to be replaced, and in July of 2015, a new unit was installed.
Soon after the unit’s installation, law enforcement sources said, one of the victim’s noticed drops of a silvery liquid on the floor near the air conditioning units, and the same liquid dripping out of the vents in which Kruk had worked.
Members of the Fire Department’s Haz-Mat Unit responded to the home after receiving a 911 call and determined that the substance was mercury — the highly-toxic liquid metal. The family of three, which includes a husband, wife and their son, complained of having symptoms of mercury poisoning — including joint pain, headaches and lethargy.
All three family members were tested and found to have elevated levels of mercury in their bloodstream, Brown said.