Barefoot Bandit Gains Boeing Mentor
A 57-year-old Boeing project manager named Jonathan Standridge has decided to take a personal role in the rehabilitation of convicted airplane thief 21-year-old Colton Harris-Moore, aka the "Barefoot Bandit." Harris-Moore is serving a seven-year sentence for crimes related to the boats, cars and airplanes that he stole or took on joy rides. Pending charges may extend the term. Standridge told The Associated Press that his motivation in helping Harris-Moore stems from a second chance granted to him when he was young. Standridge says he believes that chance gave him a brighter future. "That is what I'm passing on to Colt," he said.
In visits to the Washington state prison that holds Harris-Moore, Standridge says told the young man that, once his life is re-established, it will be his task to repay the favor. Harris-Moore earned popular recognition as the Barefoot Bandit during a two-year burglary spree that included flights in small airplanes stolen from airports in the Northwest. He was arrested in the Bahamas after flying himself there in an aircraft he'd stolen from an airport in Indiana. Standridge says Harris-Moore hopes to earn an aeronautical engineering degree while incarcerated, aims to pursue a pilot's certificate and one day design his own aircraft. Standridge was convinced through early correspondence with Harris-Moore that the young criminal isn't just highly motivated, but is a "young man who was looking to change his life."