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article imageDay 3: Alabama boy, 5, continues to be held hostage

By Greta McClain     Feb 1, 2013 in Crime
Midland City - A 5-year-old Alabama boy who was kidnapped after his school bus driver was shot and killed on Tuesday continues to be held hostage.
On Wednesday, Digital Journal reported that 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus in Midland City, Alabama and demanded the release of two children. When the driver, identified as Charles Albert Poland Jr., refused Dykes' demand, Dykes shot him four times and grabbed a 5-year-old boy named Ethan. Dykes then fled with the boy into an underground bunker next to Dykes' home. Officials believe the kidnapping was random and that the child was not specifically targeted.
Since the shooting and kidnapping, law enforcement officials have been negotiating with Dykes through a PVC pipe attached to the bunker. Thursday evening, Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson told reporters:
“These past three days have not been easy on anybody. I know details are limited but we value your patience. There is no reason to believe the child has been harmed.”
Ethan suffers from Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Negotiators were able to lower the boy's medications, along with crayons and coloring books, down through the PVC pipe according to an NBC News report.
One of Dykes neighbors told WTVY the bunker is approximately 15 feet wide by 15 feet long and is 10-12 feet underground. It is equipped with electricity, a television, food and water and other supplies. However an NBC News report states that the bunker is 4 feet underground and is approximately 6 feet wide by 4 feet long.
About Dykes
Dykes was scheduled to appear in court of Wednesday on charges of menacing. The charges stem from an altercation involving Dykes and his neighbor, James Edward Davis. Davis told CNN that Dykes flagged him down in December and began cursing and screaming at him. Davis told Dykes to calm down because his daughter was in the back seat. Dykes then ran to his car and grabbed a pistol. Davis began to speed away and Dykes allegedly fired the gun twice at Davis' vehicle.
Other neighbors in the area have called Dykes "mean" and have accused him of threatening to shoot their children and pets. He has been described as a loner who was paranoid of the government and who would wonder his property at night with a flashlight and shotgun. He is a Vietnam veteran who some believe suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A Dothan Eagle report states that records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows that Dykes was arrested in Panama City in 1995 for improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Negotiations
As the hostage standoff prepares to enter its fourth day, former FBI hostage negotiator Brad Garrett say the underground bunker makes the situation more complex, telling Reuters:
"Usually they can utilize cameras to see into buildings, but with a bunker - with impenetrable walls and one way in and one way out - that's not possible. It reduces a tactical team's ability to use the element of surprise."
Chris Voss, who is also a former FBI hostage negotiator, told the Montgomery Advertiser that negotiators at the scene have to remain patient and calm, resisting the urge to force a quick resolution. Neighbors have stated Dykes has been known to stay in the bunker for as long as 8 days, making the likelihood of a swift ending of the situation all the more doubtful.
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