Serial Manhattan subway scammer jailed after 142nd arrest
A serial subway scammer who allegedly tricks tourists into buying worthless MetroCards was sent to jail Thursday — after his 142nd career arrest.
Charles Barry had enjoyed a revolving turnstile of justice for most of 2020, thanks to new bail reform laws that mandates zero-bail for most non-violent offenses.
He was arrested six times this year alone for allegedly stealing — or trying to steal — the cash of Manhattan straphangers, and once, on Feb. 4, actually taking cash from the hand of an elderly woman in a wheelchair.
Each time, he’d either be given a desk appearance ticket, or freed on no bail, court records show.
But on Thursday, an arraignment judge ordered Barry held in lieu of $10,000 bail for allegedly stealing cash at a Times Square MetroCard machine the previous day, from a yet another hapless traveler.
That victim told cops that “he gave the defendant the money because he offered to help him buy a MetroCard,” according to the criminal complaint in that case, which charges Barry with misdemeanor petit larceny and fraudulent accosting.
Bail was finally set after prosecutors argued that Barry has repeatedly failed to come to court when required. Bail reform rules that took affect on Jan. 1 do allow judges to set bail if it’s to ensure the return to court of defendants with a history of missing court dates.
Barry currently has seven yet-resolved subway larceny charges on his plate, three of them felonies, court records show.
Those charges include the Feb. 4 incident, when he allegedly stole money from the hand of a 73-year-old woman who was in a Manhattan subway station in a wheelchair, prosecutors allege.
Freed without bail on that case, he was rearrested on Feb. 18 for allegedly trying to defraud another straphanger out of money.
He had been freed on that Feb. 18th case when he was arrested on Wednesday.
His previous record includes six felony convictions, 88 misdemeanor convictions and 27 failures to appear.
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