Admitted pedophile Jack McClellan was being held today in lieu of $5,000 after being arrested twice on the UCLA campus.
He was arrested first after being spotted loitering with a camera at a campus infant development program, a violation of an earlier court order barring him from coming within 10 yards of anyone under 18. He was arrested again for trespassing after he was spotted giving a television interview on the campus, although he had been told by UCLA officials not to return, authorities said.
McClellan, who has posted pictures of little girls on a now-removed Web site but has never been arrested for a sex crime, was being held at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's West Hollywood Station, according to the Sheriff Department's Web site.
McClellan's arrest came just 10 days after a judge ordered him to stay 30 feet from children anywhere in the state.
Partly the result of community outrage from Santa Monica to Santa Clarita, the order followed weeks of public appearances by McClellan, who spoke openly about his fondness for young girls. He also operated Web sites that directed pedophiles to parks and other places where girls gathered to play.
Though he hasn't been convicted of a crime involving pedophilia, McClellan was run out of Washington state for his activities.
Groups seeking to put McClellan behind bars were surprised by his arrest at UCLA.
"It seems very, very out of the blue," said Jane Thompson, co-founder of Mothers Against sexua| Predators of California.
"He's been on the cautious side the past couple of weeks ... I've been asked if he could be involved in performance art or a stunt. This makes me wonder if it is some kind of a stunt."
McClellan, 45, sought more of the spotlight after his arrest Monday.
"The whole thing is totally out of whack," he said in a phone interview after being released. "I was in there six hours on a petty court order violation ... The cops blew it into a big violation."
McClellan, who said he does not have an attorney, gave interviews to reporters as he left the campus lockup, saying he wanted to get his side of the story out.
But he denied he was seeking attention.
"It's not a media event ... I was locked up in a cage."
Staffers at UCLA's Infant Development Program in Franz Hall noticed McClellan carrying a camera about 1:40 p.m.
Officers with the University of California Police Department arrested McClellan without a struggle. He was booked on campus and was released later. He is required to appear in court Sept. 13, a UC police statement said.
McClellan said he innocently went to UCLA because he was barred from places such as parks where children congregate. He said he thought there wouldn't be any minors around the college.
He said it was by chance that he sat down outside Franz Hall, where the Infant Development Program is housed.
"(UCLA) is not really considered a kiddie hangout."
Anthony Zinnanti, one of the lawyers who won the court order, said McClellan defied it and that he'll go to Chatsworth Superior Court today to file a contempt action, which if granted could mean up to five days in county jail for each violation and probation.
If McClellan were to violate probation, he could get a more lengthy jail sentence, he said.
"To fish out a day-care center in the heart of UCLA and to go within 30 feet of children is a blatant violation of the court order," Zinnanti said. "My concerns are he's an individual who can't control his impulses."
McClellan said he wasn't taking pictures of children, though he said he had a camera and computer disks, which he said campus police seized.
A judge slapped McClellan with a temporary restraining order Aug. 3 during a Chatsworth Superior Court hearing that McClellan did not attend.
The same day the order was issued, McClellan got on a plane for Chicago, where he appeared on a live taped television show facing angry moms and victims of sexua| abuse.
McClellan called the Daily News on Friday as he was driving through Woodland Hills, where, he said, he was trying to hire a lawyer.
He said he was going to curtail his activities around children - which included taking pictures and posting them on the Internet with ratings of the locations for other pedophiles - until after an Aug. 24 hearing on a preliminary injunction.
"I'm not going near the kiddies until all this is resolved," McClellan told the Daily News.
Last month, the Santa Monica Police Department posted his picture after he was spotted in the children's section of a library, and a group of angry parents was behind the legal action after he was spotted July 26 at a Santa Clarita bowling alley.
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, said McClellan's arrest likely will give teeth to attorneys' arguments that a preliminary injunction against McClellan should be issued Aug. 24.
"His knowingly violating the court order definitely validates the attorneys' concerns," said Smyth, who is seeking legislation that would make surrogate stalking a crime.
McClellan told the Daily News that he had gone to counseling a couple of times when he lived in Arlington, Wash., about 45 miles north of Seattle, but that he hadn't found it to be very useful.
Sounding confused and frequently getting lost as he spoke with a reporter, McClellan said Friday that he felt there was nowhere safe he could go. He suggested that he would continue to live out of his car.
McClellan described his days since the restraining order was issued as torment, following the talk show where he was insulted and yelled at. After a night in a Chicago hotel paid for by the show, he spent the next night in a Chicago park.
He flew back to L.A. on Wednesday.
Lena Smyth, co-founder of Mothers Against sexua| Predators of California and the wife of Assemblyman Smyth, said McClellan's arrest underscores the risk he poses to children and the need to keep him away from them.
"He's a predator; he's a danger to our children; he needs to be stopped," Smyth said.
She said the arrest also provided some "relief" that the temporary restraining order was working as it was intended.
She said between law enforcement and the community's actions, the order was keeping kids safer.
"These are good safeguards in place," she said. "I really think he's under such a watchful eye, he's not much of a risk to anybody."
UC police advised other agencies that McClellan had been arrested at UCLA and reminded them to be vigilant.