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After day-long search, suspected rapist Charlie Christopher 'Chris' Bates shot to death in shootout

9-7-2013 Florida:

TAMPA - Suspected rapist Charlie Christopher 'Chris' Bates was shot and killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers Friday afternoon, after several agencies went door-to-door in a day-long search for him.

The hunt for Bates, 24, ended dramatically, shortly after he was spotted driving near Greco High School in Temple Terrace. Officers attempted to stop him near U.S. 301 at Harney Road and Temple Terrace Hwy., but he fired a gun through the back window at the officers.

They continued pursuit south on U.S. 301 and an officer sped up to perform what they called a PIT maneuver, or bump him from behind. Bates lost control of the car on the second collision, and ended up in a ditch just south of Interstate 4.

Officers closed in, including Tampa Police, Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies, and the U.S. Marshals task force. The suspect began shooting through the windshield at no less than seven officers, who protected themselves with ballistic shields.

Officers returned fire, wounding the suspect, and they were able to remove the suspect from the vehicle.

The suspect died at 1:21 after receiving medical care.

No officers were injured in the exchange.

Bates was on the run after a series of home invasions near USF late Thursday night and early Friday morning. Officials said Bates fired shots, raped four women, and forced some 20 people at a birthday party into a bedroom.

What happened:

Larry McKinnon, spokesperson for Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, said a series of armed home invasions began unfolding before midnight at various nearby apartment complexes near N. 42nd Street north of Fletcher Ave.

McKinnon said the suspect entered an apartment at the Cambridge Woods Apartments on the west side of 42nd St. just north of Fletcher, where eight USF students were inside. The suspect bound the four men inside with duct tape and sexually battered four women.

The suspect fled on foot to the Oaks Apartments, across 42nd St from the original incident at Cambridge. There, he entered an apartment where some 20 plus people were celebrating a woman's birthday. The suspect forced them all into a bedroom at gunpoint. The suspect fired at least one round into the carpet.

Exclusive: Victim shares harrowing story of survival (
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor said the same man approached a woman outside her apartment at the nearby Eagle Point apartment complex around 11:00 p.m. Thursday. The man forced her inside, and the woman prayed with and for the suspect. After they talked for about 30 minutes, the suspect left without hurting the woman or taking anything.

Exclusive: Woman says praying saved her from Chris Bates (

As the suspect left, he encountered the woman's boyfriend, who ran to a nearby apartment as the suspect chased and shot at him. The man got into the apartment and closed the door. The suspect fired at least three rounds without hitting the man. At least one round struck the door.
Deputies had already responded to the original incident at Cambridge Woods and heard the gunfire from across the street. They gave chase, but were unable to locate the suspect.

Castor said the suspect, who called himself 'Chris,' is tied to another home invasion in August and is suspected in another on September 3.

Blood matching the suspect's DNA was found after a home invasion on August 9 at a home near Busch Boulevard and Rome Avenue. Bates is suspected of breaking in through a glass door, where he was injured and began to bleed. He forced a woman there into a bedroom and made her disrobe. She began to pray, according to Castor, and he ended up leaving with cash and other valuables.

In another incident on September 3, while a couple was asleep in a bedroom near 93rd St. and Nebraska Avenue, the woman heard a noise and woke her husband. As the man got up to investigate, a black male suspect pistol-whipped him and sexually assaulted the woman. He stole credit cards and cash before leaving.

On Friday, officers were able to match a fingerprint at one of the scenes to the DNA left behind on the August 9 incident, which allowed them to identify Bates as the suspect.

Just after noon, officers found his car behind Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace.

They also found evidence that Bates had shaved his head and cut off his dreadlocks.

Earlier Friday, officers found a woman's cell phone left behind at one of the home invasion scenes. Late Friday afternoon, detectives located the owner. She is safe. It was thought she could possibly be an unidentified victim of Bates.

Bates told a victim that he had killed someone, although police have not yet found any evidence of that. ..Source..w/Video by Gregg Burrage

Suspect in USF-Area Sexual Batteries Dead After Gunfight with Police

Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee says Charlie Christopher Bates, a suspect in a series of sexual assaults, died at Tampa General Hospital from wounds he received in a gunfight with law enforcement attempting to capture him this afternoon.

At a news conference, Gee said that Bates died at 1:21 p.m. after being shot multiple times by sheriff's deputies and Tampa Police officers. He added that they will have to wait for an autopsy by the medical examiner to determine exactly how many times Bates was hit.

"We could not allow him to go any further," Gee said in a statement on Twitter.

According to Gee, they received information Bates was at an apartment, possibly holding another woman. A deputy saw Bates leave that apartment in what was believed to be a stolen car and began following him.

During a chase that Gee said reached between 80 and 100 MPH, Bates opened fire on law enforcement pursuing him. Video from news helicopters over the scene showed an officer in an unmarked vehicle knock Bates' vehicle off of the road near a Waffle House on U.S. Highway 301, just north of Interstate 4.

More shots were exchanged at that time, with Gee saying easily over a hundred shots may have been fired during the shootout. No members of law enforcement were injured in the exchange.

"No doubt in my mind he would've killed someone else before the day was over," said Gee.

Gee also expressed concern there might be another victim, saying that a woman's cell phone was found with Bates and that woman can't be located. Later that afternoon, the Sheriff's office reported: "We have located the owner of the cell phone that was found at the scene of one of the over night home invasions. This was the phone that was not identified to any victims at any of our scenes which made us consider the cell phone owner could be an unidentified victim of Charlie Bates.

"Detectives have determined the cell phone owner is safe and sound and was not a victim of Bates."


Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say Charlie Christopher Bates, a suspect in a series of sexual assaults, has been arrested on US 301 just north of Interstate I-4 after a car chase and an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement.

Bates has been shot at least once and is reported by Tampa Police to be in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. No law enforcement personnel were injured.

Bates was spotted driving a stolen car and pursued for several miles before the chase came to an end near a Waffle House on U.S. 301. He reportedly opened fire on law enforcement, who returned fire. Southbound at Harney Road is reportedly closed as a result of the incident.

The Hillsborough County Public Schools in the USF area and New Tampa area have all been taken off modified lockdown. Schools are resuming normal schedules and planning for normal dismissals.

We will have more information on Bates' capture as it becomes available.


Tampa Police and Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies have identified the suspected in a series of sexual assaults and home invasions overnight in several apartment complexes just north of the University of South Florida's Tampa campus.

They're searching for Charlie Christopher Bates, who's described as 24 years old, with tattoos on his neck and arms. He's 5-foot-nine, around 160 to 170 pounds, with shoulder-length dreadlocks he wears in a ponytail. Hillsborough deputies are saying they tracked him to a stretch of woods north of 42nd Street and south of Amberly Drive in Tampa.

Officers say there's a lot of water in the swampy area, and are searching for him with dogs. Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee says he may also be holed up in one of the apartments that dot the area.

"So we're checking all the apartments there, and we have not ruled out the possibility that he's involved in another home invasion, where somebody's being held and has not been able to report it to law enforcement, based on his prior conduct and his conduct last night," Gee said. "He's a very dangerous person, and of course, he'll be treated that way by law enforcement."

Several nearby schools around USF and New Tampa are on modified lockdown. Hillsborough County Public Schools says that means classes are being held, but with added security and no outdoor activities.

The schools that are on modified lockdown are: The Museum of Science and Industry, Bowers Whitley, Pizzo Elementary, USF Patel, Muller Elementary, Witter Elementary, Turner Elementary, Bartels Middle, Pride Elementary, Clark Elementary, Wharton High, Heritage Elementary, Benito Middle, Hunters Green Elementary, Liberty Middle, Freedom High, Chiles Elementary and Tampa Palms Elementary.

Although no shutdowns have been reported at USF, the university did issue a warning on its website, saying people should stay away from the area north of campus, between Fletcher Avenue and Skipper Road and from 42nd to 46th streets.

USF Police say classes are going on as scheduled, but security has been increased around campus. In addition, temporary on-campus housing is being offered to students living in the affected apartment complexes. Students who have been affected or involved in the attacks are also being encouraged to contact the USF Counseling Center or USF's Center for Victim's Advocacy and Violence Prevention.

Bates is a suspect in a home invasion August 9th near Busch Boulevard and Rome Avenue. He allegedly broke into a woman's home through a locked back door and demanded money, her phone and jewelry at gunpoint. Police say he threatened to rape and kill her, but he fled from the scene when the woman began praying. Bates reportedly cut himself breaking into the home and left enough of a blood sample that law enforcement was able to identify his DNA. Police then got a warrant in late August charging Bates with armed home invasion.

He allegedly also broke into a home in the area of 15th and Comanche September 3rd, sexually battering a woman there after pistol whipping her boyfriend.

Bates is also wanted for at least three other home invasions that happened last night in the area north of USF.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say the incidents began around 11 p.m. when Bates allegedly forced his way into an apartment at Cambridge Woods Apartments near 42nd Street north of East Fletcher Avenue. He reportedly bound four men and sexually assaulted four women inside the apartment. Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee says all eight victims are students at USF. Bates told the victims not to call the police for half an hour, which they reportedly did out of fear.

Tampa Police say Bates then confronted a woman outside her apartment at the nearby Eagle's Point Apartments on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and forced her into her apartment at gunpoint. He was reportedly attempting to sexually assault her when she began praying with him. Bates then fled the scene without assaulting the woman.

From there, Bates reportedly made his way to The Oaks apartment complex, just across 42nd Street from the first incident. He entered an apartment there where a party was being held. He forced 25 people into a bedroom at gunpoint. He fired at least one shot into the floor, but no one was hurt.

After he fled there, he encountered a man who ran to his own apartment. Bates chased him and fired at least three shots at him, hitting the door at least once but missing the man.

Gee says warrants are being issued for Bates, accusing him of 6 counts of armed sexual battery, 8 counts of armed kidnapping and 1 count of armed home invasion. ..Source.. by Steve Newborn and Mark Schreiner

Officers justified in killing suspected rapist

10-5-2013 Florida:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors say the Tampa Bay area officers who fatally shot a man suspected of sexually assaulting several women last month were justified.

In a Sept. 20 letter that was released Friday, State Attorney Mark Ober told Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee that the seven law enforcement officers involved in the Sept. 6 shootout with 24-year-old Charlie Christopher Bates will not face any charges.

Bates was accused of sexually assaulting four University of South Florida students and terrorizing a large group of partygoers. The Tampa Tribune ( ) reports that he forced them into a bedroom at gunpoint and threatened to shoot them.

Bates also went to another apartment and held a woman hostage before stealing her car. He led police on a high-speed car chase that ended with him being killed. ..Source.. by

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