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Man accused of pouring soda into slot machines

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 9:56 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — ALTON — A St. Charles, Mo., man was charged Wednesday for an incident earlier in the month in which he is accused of pouring soda into bill validation openings on two gambling machines at the Argosy Casino, permanently damaging them.

The Madison County State's Attorney's Office charged the suspect, Ronald E. Hurtado, 61, with criminal damage to property over $300.

A judge set bond of $20,000.

Argosy security held the suspect for police after looking at surveillance camera images, allegedly of Hurtado.

Security was alerted soon after two penny slot machines suddenly malfunctioned on the third deck of the facility at 2:46 and 2:50 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 18.

A technician discovered a sweet brown liquid, apparently soda, had been poured into the small openings on each machine. The slot machines stopped functioning within seconds, an Alton Police Department report said.

Evidence showed Hurtado had inserted his Argosy player card in each of the two games just before each stopped working, the report said.

The machines would cost $800 each to repair, the report said.

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