Man accused of injecting substance into water bottles

Christopher Slaughter, 26, is charged with tampering with a consumer product.

December 14, 2011 3:55:49 AM PST
A Houston man is in jail because of what police say he did to some products at a convenience store. He was arrested after a clerk at the store on the Katy Freeway and Shepherd called police when he noticed something strange.

According to the store, two 20-ounce water bottles were compromised. Christopher Slaughter is now charged with tampering with a consumer product, a second-felony because of the potential danger.

Slaughter stood before a judge late Monday night to hear what it would take to get out of jail and learned, for now, his chances weren't good that bond would be reduced. The district attorney's office requested the high amount because what the 26-year-old is accused of doing could put the public at risk.

"I was scared myself," said the store's manager, Muntasir Mustafa.

According to court records, cameras were rolling when Slaughter walked into the convenience store last week. They say using a syringe, he injected two Dasani water bottles with an unknown substance, casually put them back in the cooler, bought a soda and cigarettes and left. He may have noticed the cameras but it's not likely he saw the employee who was inside the cooler watching him.

"They are face to face, but they can't see each other," Mustafa said.

That employee alerted Mustafa, who called police as well as the water distributor.

"If somebody drinks something, that's bad for the store and that's bad for the persons," Mustafa said.

All the water bottles were replaced and the ones that were tampered with were sent to a lab to determine what was injected. There are still questions about why.

Slaughter remains in jail. The DA's office says there's no need to panic.

"There is no belief that this is a widespread occurrence," Harris County Assistant District Attorney Donna Hawkins said.

The DA's offices says investigators weren't able to see the syringe punctures in the water bottles, but if you want to test your own bottles, simply turn them upside down and apply a little pressure to see if there's a leak.

The DA's office hopes to get the results of the lab tests in the next couple of days so they know exactley what was injected.

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