MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on in Suffolk County arrested a man Thursday, for allegedly making up a story about being involved in a hit-and-run crash.

In reality, police said, James Matthias deliberately walked up to the back of a slow-moving vehicle, fell to the ground, and ended up getting cash from the driver.

Matthias, 50, walked out of the parking lot of an off-track betting operation at 1929 Middle Country Rd. in Centereach around 1:30 p.m. back on New Year’s Eve, when he went up to the back of the vehicle as it backed up slowly and fell, police said.

The driver of the vehicle stopped and got out of his car to check on Matthias, police said. Matthias asked the driver how they could settle the matter without calling an ambulance, and the driver handed over money, police said.

Shortly afterward, Matthias called 911 and claimed he had been involved in a hit-and-run crash and was injured, police said.

But Suffolk County Sixth Precinct Crime Section officers concluded Matthias’ claims were false, and he was arrested at his Middle Island home at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.

Matthias was charged with falsely reporting an incident and making a false written statement. He was to be arraigned in Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip on Friday.

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