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Post image for Day 5: Murderer Still Holds Hostage Kidnapped 5-Year Old Boy In Underground Bunker

Day 5: Murderer Still Holds Hostage Kidnapped 5-Year Old Boy In Underground Bunker

by David Badash on February 2, 2013

in News

A “paranoid” Vietnam vet has held a kidnapped 5-year old boy for 5 days now. Why is the nation not outraged, not watching every moment of this hostage crisis? Have we become too used to this, too insensitive?

Jimmy Lee Dykes (image, top) on Tuesday boarded a stopped Alabama school bus full of elementary school children, demanded the driver hand over two of them, and when he refused, Dykes shot him dead. Then, Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year old Vietnam vet, retired truck driver, and a “survivalist” neighbors describe as “paranoid,” kidnapped one of the children, a five-year old boy who has Asperger’s and ADHD, and escaped to his underground bunker.

And there he is, a crazy 65-year old Jimmy Lee Dykes, and what must be a terrified five year old boy who name police will not release.

“This much is known, according to police and witness statements: On Tuesday at about 3:40 p.m., bus driver Charles Poland Jr. was shuttling children from school to their homes when he dropped children off and the gunman boarded the bus,” WTVR reports:

The gunman demanded that Poland, 66, hand over two children. Poland refused, blocking access to the bus’s narrow aisle as at least 21 children escaped out of the back emergency door, according to police.

The gunman shot Poland four times, killing him; grabbed the boy and then barricaded the two of them inside a nearby bunker.

It’s unclear whether the gunman was after a specific child on the bus. Police have said there is no connection between the suspect and the abducted boy, whose identity is being withheld.

The suspect, who police have identified as Dykes, is holed up in a bunker 4 feet underground and built at least partially out of PVC pipe, authorities have said.

A hostage negotiator has been communicating with the alleged gunman through a 60-foot-long plastic ventilation pipe in an effort to end the standoff.

Authorities believe the boy is physically unharmed.

The suspect agreed to let police send down coloring books, crayons and prescription medication that the boy needs for treatment for Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit disorder, State Rep. Steve Clouse told CNN.

Neighbors have said the bunker has electricity, and Dykes has been known to stay in it for up to eight days, said James Arrington, the police chief in nearby Pinckard.

Dykes has been described as a self-styled survivalist with “anti-government” views, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch.

“Like something is not right with him and its just very hard to explain unless you’ve seen him and how he acts,” Michael Creel, one of Dykes’ neighbors, told WDHN Friday. “Very private and very protective of his property any belongings of his.”


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cipher February 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Cue the gun nuts insisting that if every school bus driver were armed, this wouldn't have happened…

chriswiegand February 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Actually, we would say he shouldn't have had a gun in the first place since he clearly has mental issues. This country has a HUGE mental health problem and it refuses to fix it, so the symptoms, like this, will just get worse. And yes, if you knew all bus drivers had guns, you'd be stupid to try to hijack them.

TomTallis February 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The nation isn't watching because the paranoid gun nut is not black. If he were black every network would be on it, especially Fox.

Freethinker1977 February 3, 2013 at 12:10 am

Race has nothing to do with it, that ship sailed a long time ago.

beachbum2013 February 2, 2013 at 8:44 pm

He is watching TV in the bunker so I wonder if law enforcement told the news outlets to keep quiet, no need to fan the flames. Right now we need him to stay calm not become incensed by some of the comments and things I am now seeing on the Internet. Those of us who are watching this situation need to keep sending support to the boy's family and the law enforcement on the scene who are contemplating how to end this horrible event. This is not an easy one, although they have trained for these types of scenarios and worse – so praying this has a good resolution for the boy, his family, and all of the people on the scene who want to do the right thing.

Freethinker1977 February 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

The news media don't care, go to seeking the lost and look at how many children are missing, kidnapped. Yet never a word about it on the news. 2 kids in one week kidnapped 60 miles from us and it was never on news, internet is where we have to find info, thankfully both were found alive…. This man should have done been in jail for all his many crimes, yet Ignored because he's an old war vet "with mental illness Ignored- again " I just hope that Child makes it out okay, each day fear grows more knowing this man has no regard to human life, My heart truly goes out to him & the families

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