FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2011 file photo, Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the “Barefoot Bandit,” stands in Island County Superior Court in Coupeville, Wash. Jonathan Standridge, a Boeing project manager, is serving as a mentor to Harris-Moore while Harris-Moore serves time in prison for series of thefts that included boats, cars and airplanes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Jonathan Standridge and Colton Harris-Moore made an odd couple as they sat together in the visiting room of a Washington state prison one day last spring.
Standridge, 57, is a project manager at Boeing, one of the world’s most important aviation companies. Harris-Moore, 21, is the “Barefoot Bandit,” a world-famous airplane thief who is serving a seven-year sentence after a sensational run from the law in stolen boats, cars and planes.
As it turned out, they had a lot to discuss. Aerospace design. Books. And second chances.
“What have you heard about me?” Harris-Moore asked, Standridge recalled.
“I’ve read all about the ‘Barefoot Bandit,’” Standridge said. Harris-Moore replied: “That’s not who I am.”
Ever since, Standridge has returned to the prison in Aberdeen, a two-hour drive from his lakeside home in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, at least once a month, hoping to have a positive influence on what has been a bleak, if sometimes thrilling, young life, and to repay a favor someone once did for him.
“This is a young man that is fully engaged in the rehabilitation process that we in society ask of those folks who are in our prison system,” said Standridge, who has tutored Harris-Moore in the airplane business and a lot more.