CLEARFIELD – A preliminary hearing for a 31-year-old Clearfield man who has been accused of attempting to rob Kwik Fill at knifepoint was continued one week Wednesday by Magisterial District Judge Michael Rudella.
Michael James Waugh, 31, of Clearfield faces charges of robbery, harassment and disorderly conduct. He’s currently incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail with his preliminary hearing being rescheduled for Dec. 21.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the Lawrence Township Police Department was contacted at approximately 9:14 a.m. Oct. 5 about an alleged armed robbery that had occurred the previous night at the Kwik Fill gas station located on Race Street.
At the scene, police interviewed the gas station’s manager. The manager told police when he arrived at work the morning of Oct. 5, he learned the night shift had a male who entered the gas station and allegedly attempted to rob it.
The first employee told police they had locked the gas station’s doors at 10 p.m. and made a “cash drop.” He said they were running the cash register tapes at which time one fell from the counter. The tape landed on the floor; however, it was on the opposite side of the counter.
At that point, a second employee unlocked the door to enter another area of the gas station to retrieve it. Waugh allegedly entered and walked up behind the first employee who reported the accused “stuck a butcher knife” to the right side of his neck, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
While allegedly being held at knifepoint, he said Waugh “demanded all of the money.” He told Waugh that they didn’t have any money, and it had all been deposited into a safe. When Waugh allegedly prompted him to open it, he said the safe had been locked, and no one could retrieve the money.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Waugh allegedly became “agitated” and applied pressure to the knife. Shortly thereafter, Waugh released the first employee, moving the knife away from his neck. He left the gas station and was last observed running down the alley between the building and the Kwik Fill sign.
The first employee told police he could identify Waugh, as he’d frequented the gas station several times prior to the alleged incident. He told police that when Waugh entered the gas station, he wasn’t wearing any type of mask, clothing or items to conceal his identity.
On or about Nov. 2, police conducted a “photo line-up” with the first employee. He was presented with two, different line-ups of eight people each. Police indicated he “didn’t hesitate” after being presented with the second line-up and “immediately” pointed out Waugh.
The next day, police conducted a photo line-up with the second store employee. He declined to identify the male who was in the gas station the night of the alleged robbery. He had also told the gas station’s manager that he didn’t report the robbery the night it allegedly occurred because he “didn’t want to go through the bull crap.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, police believe the second employee can identify the suspect. They said he told police he was on the other side of the counter and attempted to “stay calm” and “talk the guy out of it” to prevent the first employee from being stabbed.