Man ordered to pay restitution

Hageder’s 2016 crime spree cost nearly $16,000

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A Westmoreland County man who went on a crime spree in early 2016 between Indiana and Blair counties has been ordered to pay almost $16,000 in restitution.

Eric J. Hageder of New Florence, serving nine to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty in July to multiple counts of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person, is expected to first pay $1,681 to an Ashville man. Hageder struck the man with a wrench in the parking lot of an Eldorado convenience store so he could steal the man’s truck.

The man, who was in Blair County Court Thursday where Hageder was expected to contest restitution, asked for $1,681 to cover his out-of-pocket cost of an ambulance, Assistant District Attorney Nathan Michaux said.

Outside court, the man said he suffered a concussion that night and, as a result, can no longer work. He said he didn’t ask for Hageder to pay anything more than the expense he had for the ambulance.

“You can’t bleed a rock,” the man said.

Hageder’s remaining restitution, $14,307, is owed to State Farm Insurance, which covered damage to the man’s stolen pickup truck.

Judge Timothy Sullivan issued the restitution order after hearing defense attorney Jason Imler that Hageder was willing to have 20 percent of all money flowing into his prison account set aside for the Ashville man’s restitution.

After that restitution is met, Hageder asked Sullivan to direct the Department of Corrections to stop the automatic withholding of 20 percent, thereby allowing the restitution payments to the insurance company to vary.

Sullivan agreed to put that directive in the order but told Hageder that the DOC manages and controls payments from the inmate accounts. The judge said he has heard from inmates who say the DOC continues automatic withholdings beyond times set in judicial orders.

“I want a fighting chance,” Hageder said. “It’s hopeless unless I have a judge’s statement.”

Hageder’s crime spree, on March 2 and 3, 2016, began in Indiana County, where he hit a convenience store clerk in the head and stole $300, then drove through Cambria County and into Blair County. After striking the 58-year-old Ashville man and stealing his truck in Eldorado, Hageder headed for Allegheny Township. That’s where police spotted the stolen truck and began chasing Hageder, who drove via Route 22 toward Water Street, Huntingdon County, with police following him. He then headed for Route 453 and ultimately drove onto southbound

I-99 where he was stopped.

Hageder said his minimum release date from prison is October 2028.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.