After seeing the white powder, Bridgeman-Oxley said she "panicked a little bit. We had to figure out a way to keep her away from this man."
Their chance came when Tatiana went outside to smoke a cigarette. Cormican grabbed the beer with the white powder and followed her. It was a mild night in May 2005 -- the wheels of justice in this case, as one courtroom observer said, have ground exceedingly slowly.
Tatiana was stunned -- she said it was their first date, and they had met at a salsa dancing class only weeks before. Earlier, he had picked her up in his BMW after her classes at City College. "She's a trusting young lady," says David Merin, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case.
Cormican had to repeat herself several times before Tatiana absorbed what had happened. And then things got even worse.
The bartender rushed outside to tell the two women that while they had been talking, Szlamnik had dropped two pills into the new beer Tatiana had left behind on the table.
"He did it again," she said.
All three women looked through a window and saw Szlamnik trying to wipe up beer that had foamed over the edge of Tatiana's glass and was fizzing as if there were Alka-Seltzer in it....
...Bridgeman-Oxley stalked back into the bar with Tatiana following, swiped the foaming glass off the table and looked the stunned Szlamnik in the eye when he began to protest that she had served him a second bad beer.
He said to Tatiana, "Let's go."
"Your date's over, mister," the bartender told him. "She's staying with us."
hattip to Merde