Sunday, July 11, 2010



No secret now: The island I flew to was Eleuthera. I was having a couple Kaliks with a friend at a small bar near the landing where taxi boats run over to Harbour Island. Colt had already been to this bar, taking a little snack food and some drinks earlier in the week. It was Independence Day for the Bahamas, so a friend and I went over to the festival in The Bluff. Not long after we left, Colt showed up at the dock in a little Boston Whaler. He ran it aground on some coral rocks – in full view of a crowd of folks waiting on the dock for a taxi to run them to The Bluff.

Colt got the boat off, then turned off the engine and chatted with a few guys on the dock. He told them who he was and what was going on. A nice friendly chat… One guy opened his cell phone and Colt understood he was calling the police. And Colt wasn’t too upset about that. He wanted a chase. And he got one.

I’ll of course be writing a lot more on this, but it all ended fittingly for the Barefoot Bandit. He ran until the very end. After a boat chase, a land chase and a swim to a speedboat, which he stole. The final chase was two speedboats. Colt ran his onto a sandbar. The other boat with Bahamian Police inside ran close and told him to stop. Colt’s boat was floating off the sandbar and they told me that it was obvious he was going to try to keep running. So they shot out his outboard engines, hitting them with a shotgun and what I think was an automatic rifle.

Colt understood it was serious then. He tried one more thing that I’ll report later, then threw his backpack into the sea and gave up. They retrieved his backpack.

Earlier today, Colt, wearing camo shorts, a blue shirt, a hat and a bullet-proof vest – and shackled hand and foot – was led to a small plane at the North Eleuthera Airport and flown in Bahamian custody to the capital, Nassau.

It’s been quite a run for 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore and it didn't end before he got a chance to experience a paradise, at least for a little while. Unfortunately for him, there will now be a long run through the legal system.


  1. Sadly, Colt painted himself into a corner on that tiny island. We all knew it was just a matter of time.

    Reports are that he had a gun; does this mean he will be kept in the Bahamas rather than extradited back to the U.S.?

    Sigh. Just glad he didn't hurt anyone or get hurt himself.

  2. I don't know what to say, we always knew Colt was going to be catch someday soon, but now that happened it's not very easy to digest, it still a little bit unreal. I'm glad nobody got hurted - that's truth, right?

    I really hope he's fine. That adventure ended in a very beautiful place, and I hope he's ready for the next ones - there might be many. I'm afraid he's suffering with the situation.

    Thank you very much for all the information, Bob. Please, keep on writing!

  3. Mr. Friel: Can you please give us the address/contact info for the jail that will be housing Colton?

    Also, do you plan to fly to Nassau to further cover this story?

  4. I'm not certain where he's at this moment. He was first at the police station near the airport but has probably been moved to Fox Hill Prison. I am in Nassau now. Tomorrow is a Bahamian holiday, so the courts are closed. Colt is supposed to appear before a Bahamian magistrate on Tuesday. I'll be there if possible.
    I believe you could write simply Colt's full name care of Her Majesty's Fox Hill Prison, Fox Hill Road, Nassau. Though I don't know that Colt will be held here long enough for letters to reach him. Fortunately no Bahamians were hurt, although Colt did commit burglaries here. The Bahamian police did tell me that he had a gun during this last chase, threw it overboard at the end, but they recovered it. Of course having a gun with you makes all crimes more serious.

    I've got to salute the Bahamian police officers involved in this last chase for their restraint. They knew Colt had a gun because he'd shown it to a security guard at the marina, they saw the pistol during the chase, but still they only shot to disable the boat's engines. Excellent professional police work.

  5. Ha! I bet his Momma is gonna cry now. I think we should all parade down her street.

    I knew Colton's time was short when he left WA and the Northwest. The police here waste time and resources writing tickets instead of solving and stopping crime. Leave it to a foreign country and police force to catch him in like a week.

    If his crime was jaywalking in Seattle he would have been caught in a day or two. Just not for stuff like real crime.

  6. Incredible restraint! Kudos to the Bahamas Police for pulling off this arrest without anybody getting hurt. These guys are shoo-in's for officers of the year.

    I think a lot of us had a fear that this was going to end badly. The Bahamas may be a small country with limited resources, but the police there showed world class professionalism throughout this last week.

  7. I wish they had not caught him, I wanted the saga and adventure to continue! What a great story.

  8. Great story comes to an end, what a shame... I enjoyed the saga for sure..