Escaped inmate captured along Garden State Parkway in Ocean County

    (Images: New Jersey Department of Corrections)

    (Images: New Jersey Department of Corrections)

    Arthur Buckel, the man who escaped from the Bayside State Prison unit at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in South Jersey last Tuesday, is now in custody, authorities say.

    He was arrested without incident around 11:30 a.m. today along the Garden State Parkway at milepost 76.7 in Lacey Township, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Al Della Fave said. 

    A tweet from the Lacey Township Police Department said Buckel was taken into custody at gunpoint by one of its officers in a wooded area along the highway after a passing motorist reported possibly seeing a person in the woods.  The arrest location is near the Forked River Service Area, where the escaped inmate was spotted about 12 hours earlier. 

    A 6ABC chopper captured an image of Buckel sitting on a highway guardrail while in custody. A NBC New York reporter posted video from near the arrest scene. 

    Della Fave said the New Jersey Department of Corrections will release any additional information. 

    “I’m told they have no plans for a press conference and simply plan to do a printed release regarding his capture,” he said. “DOC vans were on location and took direct control of Buckel.”

    This is a developing story. 

    EARLIER:

    The manhunt for an inmate who escaped nearly a week ago from a minimum security prison in Camden County walked off after apparently making arrangements to surrender.

    State police say 38-year-old Arthur Buckel was seen late Sunday near the Forked River Service Area along the Garden State Parkway in Lacey Township.

    Lacey Township Police Chief David A. Paprota said state troopers and Buckel’s family were making arrangements for him to turn himself in at the rest area. But he was gone when state police arrived.

    It’s believed Buckel initially headed north on foot. From that point, his whereabouts are unknown, and police don’t know if he entered a vehicle. 

    Police released surveillance images of Buckel taken at the service area late Sunday night. Paprota said the escaped prisoner is clean shaved and was last seen wearing a gray long-sleeve sweatshirt, gray shorts, and work boots. 

    Police have been searching throughout the area and extra officers are stationed at nearby schools Monday. Paprota said there are no outside activities at Lacey schools today. 

    As of 10:00 a.m. today, heavily armed police continue to search with K-9 units and helicopters in a wooded area near the service area and within Double Trouble State Park in Berkeley. State officials are focusing the search in Berkeley and to the north, although Lacey police continue to staff extra patrols, Paprota said. 

    Buckel was discovered missing last Tuesday when guards did a count in the Ancora unit of Bayside State Prison in Hammonton. A manhunt sparked last Wednesday when authorities tracked a stolen car to Barnegat and discovered Buckel on surveillance images at a CVS store. By Thursday, authorities said he was no longer in that area. 

    According to state Department of Corrections records, Buckel was three weeks from parole eligibility, serving a three-year sentence for drug, burglary, and aggravated assault convictions.

    He had previously served nearly 13 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s 10-month old daughter. 

    Lacey Township is about 50 miles northeast of Hammonton.

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    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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