The man, arrested for alleged burglary and drug possession, told cops he was the Stone Temple Pilots singer

By Tim Nudd Jeff Nelson
August 22, 2014 11:50 AM
Tibrina Hobson/Getty

Rest easy, Stone Temple Pilots fans. Scott Weiland is a free man.

In fact, he always was!

Published reports suggesting the musician, 46, had been arrested in July for alleged burglary and drug possession turned out to be false this week. The man behind bars is actually a Scott Weiland impersonator – though it took Beverly Hills Police a full month to realize it.

It all started July 26, when the man was arrested following an alleged burglary at a Rite Aid in Beverly Hills and was later allegedly found with meth.

“He gave the name [Scott Weiland] when he was booked,” Beverly Hills Police Department spokesman Sgt. Max Subin tells PEOPLE. “He gave the same date of birth. He had no ID on him, and he had no money on him as well.”

But it wasn’t until this Thursday that police discovered, through an FBI fingerprint check, that the man was not Weiland. Authorities have identified him as Jason Michael Hurley, 44.

“We made an error by not realizing that it was not Scott Weiland prior to sending out the press release We checked our records and realized there was an error,” says Subin, who adds that officers on the scene noted that the suspect bore “a strong resemblance” to Weiland.

That snafu coincided with a video that Weiland posted to Facebook, showing he was very much not in prison.

“I just got done reading something very interesting saying that I was in jail and have been for months,” he said. “I’ve actually been touring, writing and recording my new album. This is the studio we’re in right now. A Los Angeles studio. So, all I have to say to our fans is – whether you found it funny or interesting, or whether you were sad – don’t worry, don’t fret, it’s a lie.”

Hurley, meanwhile, has been charged with petty theft, second-degree commercial burglary, possession of a smoking device, resisting arrest and damaging property in a jail.

Subin says Beverly Hills Police are planning to seek one more charge against him: providing false identification to a police officer.

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