A Middle Island man who left an OTB on New Year's Eve and intentionally stumbled into a car that was reversing in the parking lot was arrested Thursday for falsely reporting that he was the victim of a hit-and-run, Suffolk police said.
Police said James Matthias, 50, fell to the ground after walking into the car that was slowly backing up outside 1929 Middle Country Rd. in Centereach at about 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. The driver of the car got out to see if Matthias was hurt, police said, and Matthias offered to settle the matter "without calling an ambulance."
Police said the driver then gave Matthias cash -- an amount under $100 -- and both men left the parking lot.
Matthias later called 911 and said he had been hurt in a hit-and-run crash. But police said an investigation by Sixth Precinct officers determined that Matthias was lying, and he was arrested at his home at 37 Artist Lake Dr. at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.
Matthias was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident and making a false written statement. He is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Friday.