Serial mass transit scammer Charles Barry, after more than 30 years and 142 arrests, insisted in a jailhouse interview Saturday that the subway doors were finally closing on his subterranean life of crime.
“I’m done, man,” he said inside the Metropolitan Detention Center while awaiting his next court date. “Once I get out of here, I can tell you one thing for sure: I’m done.”
The 56-year-old Barry remained behind bars after his refusal to appear at a bail hearing that followed his ninth arrest of 2020. After each one, he boarded an express train to freedom under the state’s controversial new bail reform standards — only to wind up in handcuffs yet again.
“I’m like the poster boy for the bail reform,” he said. “They’re trying to get me.”
But Barry, arrested last Wednesday that is 26th February 2020, for scamming two Brazilian tourists out of $25, claimed he’s had enough of his illegal life and now was all aboard with finding a legit job.
Barry recalled how his criminal career began in 1986 after losing his gig as a mailman. With a wife and three kids to support, he would the leave the family in Brooklyn to panhandle or fleece people across the East River in Manhattan.
“That’s where the money is,” explained Barry, who never envisioned such an existence. “What am I supposed to do, let my kids twiddle their fingers all day and starve to death? I’m supposed to be the man of the house. … I did what I had to do to survive.”
And he did it well for a long time — although perhaps not as well as the law claimed. Barry, now the father of five, bristled during a recent court appearance when a prosecutor alleged that he was collecting up to $300 a day with his scams.