- The Washington Times - Monday, January 7, 2002

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The 15-year-old who crashed a small plane into a skyscraper wrote a note expressing sympathy for Osama bin Laden and support for the September 11 terrorist attacks, police said yesterday.
The short, handwritten suicide note found in Charles Bishop's pocket said he acted alone, Tampa police Chief Bennie Holder said. The high school freshman had few friends and no apparent terrorist ties, Chief Holder said.
"Bishop can best be described as a young man who had very few friends and was very much a loner," Chief Holder said. "From his actions we can assume he was a very troubled young man."
Charles crashed the Cessna 172R into the 42-story Bank of America building after taking off without authorization and ignoring signals to land from a Coast Guard helicopter that pursued the plane. He was the only fatality.
Chief Holder said there is no indication the youth specifically targeted the building or "had any intention of harming anyone else."
Investigators yesterday interviewed the boy's family and said they would search his personal computer for evidence.
Charles, of Palm Harbor, was told to check the plane's equipment before the start of a flying lesson Saturday, police said. He took off without waiting for the instructor who was supposed to accompany him.
A Coast Guard helicopter pilot motioned for the boy to land but did not get a response, and a pair of military jets scrambling to intercept the small plane arrived only after the crash.
"There was no doubt he died on impact," said Fire Department Capt. Bill Wade.
Fire department officials said the damage to the building was limited to the office where the plane hit and small areas of the adjoining floors. Most of the building was expected to be open today, though there was concern about chunks of the facade falling to the sidewalk below.
Though terrorism was quickly discounted, images of the plane blasting a hole in the side of a skyscraper were chilling reminders of the World Trade Center attacks. Until it was pulled in early yesterday, the plane's tail had dangled from the 28th floor of the building.
In Palm Harbor, police unrolled yellow crime scene tape outside the apartment complex where Charles lived with his mother, while a stream of detectives and FBI agents interviewed family members yesterday.
Julia Bishop, the boy's mother, told a camera crew to "get out" when it attempted to film her as she opened her door for investigators.
The teen's grandmother had taken him to the National Aviation Academy flight school at St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport for a 5 p.m. flying lesson on Saturday, said Marianne Pasha, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.
Sheriff's Sgt. Greg Tita said there was no record of the ninth-grader running into problems with the law.
Derek Perryman, a classmate of the deceased at East Lake High School in Palm Harbor, about 25 miles west of Tampa, said Charles often talked about planes with a friend in their journalism class.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, he said, Charles read a paper to the class. "It was real expressive about how he felt, how disappointed he was," the classmate said.
Another classmate, Ross Stewart, 15, described Charles as a "teacher's pet," an honor student who "got straight A's" and "liked school."
The boy kept to himself, a neighbor said. "He rode my bus to school. He sat in the front row. He always had sunglasses on for some reason," said David Ontiveros, 14. "He never talked to anybody."
The Bishops had moved to Florida from Boston. A former neighbor, Bev Pinkham who lived near the Bishops in Norwell, Mass., just outside Boston said the boy "was just an ordinary quiet kid."

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