three los angeles women help thwart attempted drugging in restaurant

By Christine Pelisek
May 31, 2016 08:30 PM
Sonia Ulrich

A Los Angeles man was charged Tuesday after he allegedly attempted to slip a drug in his date’s drink at a restaurant, prosecutors say.

Michael Hsu, 24, is charged with one felony count each of administering a drug and assault with intent to commit a sex crime. He is in custody on $1 million bail.

Hsu was arrested May 26 at the busy Fig Restaurant. “After the fact there was some vials found in his pocket,” Santa Monica Police Lt. Saul Rodriguez tells PEOPLE. “He had three vials. One empty and two full.”

Rodriguez says police have sent the vials out for testing. “It is an unknown substance at this point.”

Three women, Sonia Ulrich, Marla Saltzer and Monica Kenyon, have been hailed as heroes for informing the woman before she could take a sip of the drink.

“I was looking up and saw this guy looking completely suspicious,” Kenyon tells PEOPLE. “He seems really nervous and then I see his hands twist a little bit and I see something fall from them and into the wine glass in front of him. Immediately my thought was, ‘Oh My God’ did I just see that.”

When the woman got up to use the bathroom, Ulrich decided to warn her. “I said to her this really sounds weird but we just saw the guy you are with put something in your drink,” says Ulrich. “She was frozen. She said he is one of my best friends. That is the thing that is the kick in the gut. It wasn t a club, it wasn t some random stranger, it was that.”

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Meanwhile, Kenyon says they told their server who passed on the information to the management and security. Security officers checked the surveillance video and allegedly confirmed the story.

“They called in the Santa Monica Police and stalled their meal and check so the police could arrive and arrest them after they paid,” she says.

Michael Hsu
Santa Monica Police Department

Ulrich later posted the experience on her Facebook page. “When I wrote the post on Facebook I thought maybe 10 of my friends would share it,” she says. “And right now it is at 113,000 shares of the original post. It went crazy immediately. Apparently it resonated.”

Saltzer said after Hsu was taken into custody, random people stopped by their table to share their own experiences. “It was amazing how many people came up to the table and said this happened to them or happened to their sister or roommate,” she said. “One of the guys said it happened to his male roommate and he is still not right from it.”

“You hear these stories at a club but it was not the case here. It is not the boogeyman in the dark corner lurking to jump on you. It could be someone you know,” says Ulrich.

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