By Cleve Bryan
MOUNT HOLLY, N.J., (CBS) — After more than two decades on the run, one of New Jersey’s most wanted men is facing justice in Burlington County.
Eyewitness News Reporter Cleve Bryan spoke exclusively to the officer who made the arrest.
“I have a public defender,” James Barclay said.
Appearing through TV in Burlington County Superior Court, James Barclay is finally behind bars after almost 23 years on the run.
“This is not a case where this defendant surrendered, he was actively seeking to avoid appearing here and was a fugitive from justice in every sense of the word,” Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Frank Hughes said.
In 1991 Barclay failed to appear for sentencing after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old child. The Cinnaminson man landed on New Jersey’s Most Wanted List and despite numerous sting operations investigators had nothing for decades.
“It was somebody who was just gone in the wind,” Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit Officer Steve Felder said.
Sheriff’s Officer Steve Felder is part of the Fugitive Task Force that arrested Barclay this past Saturday. Along with State Troopers and U.S. Marshal’s, they did three days of surveillance at a stop-n-ride parking lot in western Pennsylvania.
“He was truck driver, he worked for one of the major truck companies and was moseying on down the highway and just doing what he does as a truck driver,” Felder said.
In recent weeks investigators found out Barclay had long been using the alias James Toryone. At the time of his arrest he was living in Altoona, Pennsylvania and blended in to the community – including being around children.
“To be honest with you I don’t think he was shocked, and what’s more disturbing to me is I don’t think he showed any remorse,” Felder said.
Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield says since Saturday retired investigators who sacrificed holidays and county hours in Barclay’s pursuit have called to say they feel relieved.
“I think this sends a great message that someone can run but they can’t hide forever,” Sheriff Jean Stanfield said.
Barclay is being held without bail and faces further charges besides the initial sexual assault. Authorities don’t know if he’s molested children over the years, they’re asking potential victims to call police.