Charlie Christopher Bates, WTSP
Tampa, Florida -- The man believed to have committed several home
invasions and sexual batteries Thursday night near the University of
South Florida has died, following a chase and shootout with police.
The manhunt for Charlie Christopher Bates ended shortly after 12:30
p.m., after police rammed a car he was driving, which went off-road in
front of a Waffle House on US Highway 301 in Tampa. What followed was an
intense two minutes of gunfire between police and the suspect.
RAW VIDEO: Police chase, shootout with USF manhunt suspect **WARNING GRAPHIC FOOTAGE**
MORE VIDEO: Police footage of the chase and shootout
When the shooting ended, Bates was pulled from the car, seriously
injured with multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken by ambulance from
the scene, and died at the hospital around 1:21 p.m. No police officers
were injured in the gun battle.
Earlier in the day, Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee said they were
looking for a person whose cell phone was found with Bates. Gee added
that Bates told one of his victims Thursday night that he had killed
someone and police were concerned about the cell phone's owner safety.
Investigators later reported the cell phone's owner was found safe and
not one of Bates' victims.
Investigators say they do not know at this time why Bates began his crime spree.
Multiple sexual assaults, home invasions
This all started just after 11 p.m. Thursday when the Hillsborough
County Sheriff's Office received a call from Florida Hospital indicating
two women claimed they had just been sexually battered while inside
their apartment at the Cambridge Wood Apartments.
USF's website sent out
an alert describing it as "an unsafe situation has been reported in the
vicinity north of the USF TAMPA between Fletcher and Skipper and from
42nd St. to 46th Street."
Investigators identified the suspect as 24-year-old Charlie
Christopher Bates. He has multiple tattoos on his arms and neck, is 5'9"
and about 160 to 170 pounds with shoulder-length dreadlocks. Police say
he wears his dreadlocks in a pony tail.
Bates allegedly entered the victims' apartment on Shiloh Woods Court,
where he bound four male occupants with duct tape and sexually battered
four adult females. Deputies say the women were all USF students.
The suspect then fled the apartment complex and entered a nearby
apartment in Eagle's Point. There, deputies say Bates forced his way
into a woman's apartment at gunpoint. Tampa Police say the victim
pleaded with the suspect to not harm her. The suspect ultimately did
leave, without taking anything or assaulting the woman.
Deputies say Bates next arrived at Oaks Apartments, which is directly
across 42nd Street from the original incident at the Cambridge Woods
Apartments. He went into an apartment where about 25 people were
attending a birthday party. The suspect forced all partygoers into a
bedroom at gunpoint, firing at least one shot into the carpet.
The suspect then left the apartment, where he began chasing a man who was outside.
The man made it back into his apartment and closed the door. Bates
allegedly fired at least three rounds at the man, who was not hit. At
least one round struck the door.
HCSO public information officer Larry McKinnon advises students to
keep their apartment and vehicle doors locked at all times, as the
suspect was able to enter unlocked doors.
Bates suspected in previous cases
Tampa Police say Bates is also a suspect in several other recent crimes:
Bates is a suspect in a home invasion that occurred on August 9 at a
home near Busch Boulevard and Rome Avenue. Police say the suspect broke
into a woman's home through a locked back door. He demanded money, her
phone and jewelry at gunpoint. He threatened to sexually batter her and
kill her. The victim began praying and he fled from the scene. While
breaking into the home, he cut himself and left blood at the scene. DNA
from the blood was linked to Bates, and a warrant was issued for his
arrest on one count of armed home invasion/robbery.
Bates is also suspected of a home invasion on September 3. The
suspect entered the victims' house through an unlocked back door. A
boyfriend and girlfriend were asleep in the bedroom. The suspect woke
them at gunpoint and demanded money. The suspect pistol whipped the
boyfriend and sexually assaulted the girlfriend before fleeing the
scene. He threatened to kill them if they called police. Because
they feared for their lives, they didn't report the crime until two days
Then on Thursday, Bates allegedly approached a woman while she was
sitting out on her screened porch and forced her into her apartment at
gunpoint. He ordered her to undress and forced her to kiss him. She
began reciting bible scriptures and prayed for the suspect. Police say
his demeanor changed; he apologized and he gave her a shirt to cover up.
They prayed together, she ripped out pages from the Bible and gave them
to the suspect. He fled the apartment and she called 911.