Friday, November 21, 2014
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Penn State linebacker recruit arrested on forgery charges

Zayd Issah, a former Central Dauphin High School star who signed a national letter of intent last month with Penn State, has been arrested in an alleged scheme to purchase food with counterfeit money.

Penn State linebacker recruit arrested on forgery charges

After speaking with several NFL teams about their coaching vacancies, Bill O´Brien last week said he would remain at Penn State. (Ralph Wilson/AP)
After speaking with several NFL teams about their coaching vacancies, Bill O'Brien last week said he would remain at Penn State. (Ralph Wilson/AP)

Penn State signee Zayd Issah, a highly sought-after linebacker from Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, has been arrested and charged for allegedly attempting to pass counterfeit money to buy food at a McDonald’s restaurant.

Issah, who is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, was one of 12 players who signed a national letter of intent with the Nittany Lions on Feb. 6 to play football. It is not yet known how the arrest will affect Issah’s career at Penn State, where coach Bill O’Brien had expected him to compete for a backup role in his first season.

A request for comment from Penn State spokesman went unanswered Thursday.

According to court documents, Issah, 18, was arrested on March 10 by Susquehanna Township police and charged with eight counts – two felony counts each of forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery, and four misdemeanor counts of theft by deception.

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He was released on $1,000 unsecured bail pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 9 before Dauphin County Magisterial District Judge James A. Lenker.

According to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Issah and two friends went into a McDonald’s on March 9, tried to pass counterfeit money and fled after police were summoned. Police caught the two friends and both implicated Issah in the scheme, saying he passed counterfeit bills at two locations, the newspaper said.

Police also intercepted Facebook messages between Issah and one of the suspects, which it said proved that Issah knew the money was counterfeit.

Issah had given Penn State an oral commitment last June but withdrew that pledge after the NCAA imposed sanctions against the football program. He re-committed in December.

--Joe Juliano

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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