February 13 2022 06:30 pm

Altoona man accused of passing fake $100 bills, running from police

Local News

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — An Altoona man is behind bars after police were told he used two fake $100 bills at the Black and Gold Tavern on 6th Avenue.

Matthew Hazlett, 36, walked into the tavern Thursday, Nov. 25, around 1 a.m. and ordered a soda, which he paid for using a $100 bill, the owner told Altoona police. Then, he ordered a shot and paid for it with another $100.

A short time later, Hazlett asked to exchange a $20 bill and three $5 bills because the gaming machines wouldn’t take what he had, the affidavit noted. He left after a total of $236 was said to be passed between Hazlett and an employee.

Close to 3 p.m., police found Hazlett standing in the parking lot of FeFi’s on 7th Street. They questioned him about the night asking if he made the purchases the tavern claimed he did, to which he verified was true.

As police started to read him his Miranda Warnings, Hazlett became “very anxious” and started to distance himself, police noted. Due to his behavior, police told him he was under arrest, and Hazlett took off on foot.

After a brief chase, Hazlett was arrested. As police were putting him in the patrol car, he said he “didn’t know they were fake” and that he would pay the tavern back.

Hazlett was arraigned on felony charges of forgery, escape and flight to avoid apprehension as well as a misdemeanor count of theft by deception.

He’s currently behind bars at Blair County Prison after failing to post his $40,000 cash bail. His preliminary hearing is slated for Dec. 8.

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