"I'm glad it's over and they brought him in safe," Harris-Moore's mother, Pam Kohler, told AOL News following his arrest. "I was afraid he would get shot if it kept going."
Harris-Moore's arrest came just before dawn in northern Eleuthera, The Associated Press reported.
Apparently, a boat captain realized something was wrong when he saw a boat take off at 2 a.m. Sunday with no lights. He and another resident alerted the Bahamian Police, and a chase ensued.
"As we approached him, he started saying things like, 'I'm not going back to jail; I'm going to kill myself," Jordan Sackett, a Harbour Island resident who witnessed the ordeal, told WPTV News Channel 5.
According to Sackett, Harris-Moore then began dumping his belongings out of the boat, including a laptop and a gun.
Authorities have confirmed that shots were fired during the chase, but they have yet to comment on who fired them. Kohler said it was the police firing at the boat.
"The authorities were chasing him, and they shot out the motor of the boat," Kohler said. "After they got him, they put a bulletproof vest on him, and all these dignitaries and the police escorted him over to an airplane."
Barefoot and shackled at the ankles and wrists, Harris-Moore was then flown, via police aircraft, to Nassau, the country's capital.
The American consulate checked in on Harris-Moore this morning, his attorney, John Henry Browne, told NBC's "Today" show, and said the young man was physically fine.
At a Sunday afternoon news conference, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade praised the work of his officers.
"Our officers are afforded the best training opportunities, which, coupled with their commitment to their oath of office and a fierce loyalty to the people of the Bahamas, allow them to compare extremely well with law enforcement personnel anywhere in the world," Greenslade said.
Authorities in the Bahamas had been looking for Harris-Moore since last week. On Tuesday, the FBI announced that it had a "solid indication" that he was responsible for the recent theft of an aircraft from a hangar in Bloomington, Ind. The plane was found crashed and abandoned July 5, off the coast of Abaco Island, in the Bahamas.
Following that incident, Harris-Moore's mother told AOL News, "It's probably him." She added, "It's gone on so long that I pray it keeps on going; otherwise, he might get hurt."
Courts are closed today because of the Independence Day holiday. Harris-Moore will be kept in a holding cell pending arraignment on multiple charges, including theft and burglary. Greenslade said those charges will take priority over charges he faces elsewhere, so it could be some time before Harris-Moore is extradited to the United States.
Kohler said late Sunday she hadn't spoken with her son since his arrest.
"I was on the phone all day, and he did try to call, but he couldn't get through, so he called my sister," Kohler said. "He said for her to tell me that he is fine and he misses me. The embassy called me after that to tell me that he is going to try to call me again, but it is a big holiday down there, so he won't be able to until Tuesday."
Kohler said her son is "probably relieved" that he won't have to continue looking over his shoulder. "l bet he is catching up on his sleep right now," she said.
Harris-Moore's capture capped a two-year manhunt in the United States. The Camano Island, Wash., teen is accused of hundreds of burglaries and the theft of several airplanes and a $450,000 yacht. The FBI recently announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
If he were convicted of consolidated federal charges in Seattle, Harris-Moore could face a four- to 12-year sentence, Browne said. "If it hadn't had so much notoriety, it would probably be much closer to four or even less than that," Browne told NBC.
Whatever happens next, one thing's certain: Harris-Moore has become a media sensation, with a huge online following, including fan sites and Facebook pages, one of which boasts nearly 100,000 members.
According to Kohler, she's received so many requests from movie producers that she's had to hire an "entertainment lawyer" to field them.
"I've been getting all kinds of offers, especially today," Kohler said. "I'm not kidding. [I have] four phones, and the batteries are so low I have to hang them up after a little [while]."
And she's right. Following a story AOL News ran last week, several inquiries were made, including one from an individual who claimed to be a producer for Touchstone Pictures.
Harris-Moore's attraction and near folk-hero status is puzzling to some, including Sheriff Mark C. Brown, from the Island County Sheriff's Office, who told AOL News recently, "I don't like the sensationalistic media blitz that's taken off." But Nicole S. Urdang, a psychotherapist and licensed mental health counselor in Buffalo, N.Y., explained that his appeal is the "vicarious pleasure" people derive from hearing about his exploits.
"Most people play by the rules, but there's a little rule breaker inside even the most buttoned-up soul who gets vicarious pleasure seeing someone else do what their conscience won't allow them to [do]," Urdang told AOL News.
"Doing something socially unacceptable and getting away with it may also play into unconscious fantasies people have about misbehaving," Urdang continued. "They would like to have the guts to do something radical, but they don't because the consequences are unappealing."
Whatever the reason for the attraction, one thing's certain: This won't be the last we hear of the "Barefoot Bandit."