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Alabama Boy Kidnapped From School Bus And Held In Underground Bunker

Alabama boy taken hostage from school bus

11 am February 4, UPDATE – The Alabama kindergarten boy remains a hostage inside an underground bunker in Midland City. Drones are flying over the bunker area. the done planes are reportedly gathering images for law enforcement officers. Hostage negotiations with Jimmy Lee Dykes are ongoing. The boy, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is going on his seventh day inside the bunker. A press conference is planned for Monday afternoon, Fox News reports.

10 am February 1, UPDATE – The kidnapped Alabama boy remains a hostage in the underground bunker owned by Jimmy Lee Dykes. Police negotiators reportedly talked through a 4-inch-wide ventilation pipe with Dykes on Thursday. The officers continue to try and convince the man accused of shooting a Midland City bus driver to release the child, according to the Denver Post.

The underground bunker reportedly encompasses 6-by-8 feet of space. The kindergarten boy and Dykes are reportedly about 4-feet underground. The retired truck driver has allegedly been known to stay inside the bunker for up to eight days at a time.

8 pm UPDATE – The kidnapped Alabama boy who reportedly has autism, remains a hostage inside an underground bunker. The little boy is reportedly crying for his mother. Jimmy Lee Dykes, the suspected murdered who is underground with the Midland City kindergartener, has allowed the child to take medicine lowered down via a PVC pipe attached to the bunker. The little boy was also given crayons and coloring books. If Fox News updates are accurate, Dykes has enough supplies to remain in the bunker with the child for days, or possibly even weeks.

8:00 am UPDATE – The Alabama school bus kidnapping victim remains inside the underground bunker. The little boy has autism, according to Fox News. Suspected kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes is reportedly allowing the boy to take his needed medication. Dykes, 65, is a retired truck driver. The Midland City underground bunker is reportedly equipped with a television and food. Nothing changed in the hostage stand-off overnight. Law enforcement officers believe that the kidnapped Alabama boy remains unharmed. It is not known if Dykes has made any demands during hostage negotiations.

3:00 pm UPDATE – The press have been moved further back from the bunker which contains the Alabama school bus kidnapping victim, Fox News notes. Law enforcement officers have reportedly been moving around the scene in the past hour. The kidnapped little boy allegedly has special needs. Medication was reportedly sent down into the bunker via a PVC pipe for the child.

12:00 pm UPDATE – Dale County Schools will be closed for the rest of the week. District officials made the decision out of respect of the kidnapped little boy and bus driver Charles Poland. The 66-year-old school employee is being hailed as a hero for giving his own life to protect the 21 children on the Alabama school bus, the Dothan Eagle notes.

Poland had been a full-time bus driver for Dale County Schools for four years. Prior to becoming a permanent staffer, the Alabama senior citizen had been a substitute driver in the district.

A statement from Dale County Schools Superintendent Donny Bynum reads:

“Mr. Poland was well-loved by all of us here at Dale County Schools. He was a valuable member of our transportation department, and we will forever remember him for the bravery he showed yesterday. Now our thoughts and efforts are with our children. Their well-being is our number one concern. The authorities, the Midland City Police Department, the Dale County Sheriff’s Department, ABI, FBI, Homeland Security, and other surrounding city and county agencies, responded immediately to this situation and are doing everything within their powers to see to the safe release of this six-year-old kindergarten student.”

10:30 am UPDATE – The Midland City school bus driver killed during the kidnapping has been identified as Charles Albert Polard, Jr. The Alabama school bus driver was 66, according to the Dothan Eagle.

Alabama school bus kidnapping witness Michael Creel had this to say about chasing the alleged suspect, Jimmy Lee Dykes:

“He’s 67 years old, so I figured I could catch him. Apparently he didn’t go through the field like I thought. He’s got a four-foot-wide, about six-foot-long, eight-foot-deep homemade bomb shelter. It’s got about three to four feet of sand on top of it. If you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t notice it.”

James Edward Davis, Jr., who is reportedly a neighbor of the alleged kidnapping suspect, supposedly had an altercation with the accused gunman in December. Davis stated that Dykes pulled a gun on him and his daughter after a dispute. Dykes allegedly believed that Davis had driven through his backyard.

9:30 am UPDATE – Jimmy Lee Dykes was allegedly due in court today to answer the charges filed against him in December. Although law enforcement officers have yet to confirm whether or not there is a relationship between the alleged kidnapper and the child, witnesses indicate they were complete strangers. The Alabama school bus driver killed during the kidnapping is being hailed as a hero for attempting to thwart the hostage taker. Students on the bus noted during meetings with the press that the kidnapper told the driver to give him a child, and the man refused.

8:10 am UPDATE – The Alabama school bus driver was allegedly shot four times by Jimmy Lee Dykes, LA Late reports. The driver’s foot was reportedly on the bus pedal when he was shot, sending the vehicle rolling backwards with students still on board, the Dothan Eagle notes. Dykes was allegedly arrested and charged with menacing in late December.

8 am UPDATE – The Alabama school bus kidnapping suspect has been identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes. The man who is hunkered down inside a bunker with a little boy is a military veteran in his 60s, according to ABC News. The kidnapped boy and the bus driver remain unidentified. Law enforcement officers on the scene reportedly remain in communication with the kidnapper and referred to the situation as “sensitive.”

Midland City, AL – A 6-year-old boy was kidnapped from a school bus and held hostage in underground bunker. The incident began on Tuesday afternoon when an armed man shot the Alabama school bus driver and took the child. Police officers were still negotiating with the kidnapper for the boy’s release on Wednesday morning.

Late Tuesday night, Dale County Sheriff’s Department officials and officers from assisting agencies made contact with the hostage taker. The communication occurred via a pipe the gunman had attached to his underground bunker. The victim is reportedly unharmed, ABC News reports.

The Alabama school bus driver died as the result of his gunshot wounds. Students who were also on the bus stated that the man came aboard and said he needed a “kid” because the “law” was after him. After shooting the bus driver, the vehicle rolled off the road, and the students ran to a nearby house for help, according to Fox News.

A minister whose church is near the bus stop where the kidnapping occurred spoke with the children who hid behind his building after the gunman left. One of the students reportedly told Minister Michael Senn that he knew the kidnapped boy well.

Senn had this to say after the Alabama school bus kidnapping:

“I spoke with a young guy, 13-years-old, that was really traumatized. The boy, who is really good friends with the hostage, witnessed the entire incident. I talked with him and ministered with him and prayed with him before he left.”

Another student told school bus stop neighbor Mike Creel that the kidnapper initially attempted to take two children. Creel reportedly chased the Alabama kidnapper but was unable to keep up. Creel referred to the kidnapper as a neighbor, WSFA News reports.

If witness statements are accurate, the gunman was only able to take one hostage because the kidnapped boy fainted during the incident and was quickly removed from the bus.

Alabama police officers have not released any details about the hostage taker or the bus driver’s name. The hostage taker has allegedly lived in the neighborhood for two years. If Creel’s comments are accurate, the man began building the underground bomb shelter not long after moving in.

[Image via Shutterstock]

WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

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Comments

19 Responses to “Alabama Boy Kidnapped From School Bus And Held In Underground Bunker”

  1. Robert Martin Shehan

    Oh boy. Another thing for the everyone to go against guns on. So what if he had a gun? He could've used a knife and done the same damage. I can't wait to see what kind of controversy this stirs up.

  2. Cathy Tahir

    But if the driver had one, he may have stood a good chance of being alive and Dykes dead. God bless his heroic defenseless body, though his soul is now with God.

  3. Shawn Watts

    These are our Children. Schools and school bus drivers need to be armed Period. I want my child to be safe and live to hell, with all the Anti gun sheep who think its the guns fault. They need to keep our children safe. While they are not in our care.

  4. Cathy Tahir

    And if the driver had one, he may have stood a good chance of being alive and Dykes dead. One more reason to carry, right in this article. Blame Giffords, Brady and politicians for this driver's death. God bless his heroic but defenseless body, though his soul is now with God.

  5. Anonymous

    I saw a true movie called lovely bones where a child was kidnapped and taken to an underground bunker and was raped and killed. There is another story of another man who made an underground bunker and raped a teen. Get in there and kill the bastard already! People who build underground bunkers and kidnapp children are to rape them. That little boy is probably raped. STORM IN THERE AND KILL THAT MONSTER ALREADY.

  6. Rachel Elizabeth Flohr

    Shut up about the damn guns, a child is being held hostage and all you can think about is you and your guns. How about instead praying that the child is returned safely with your thoughts and words instead of thinking about how someone is coming to take you guns away.

  7. Jon Plus Cassie Locke

    he is a war vet so they are trying not to kill the fucker I don't care about what he has done in his life if he took my son I would drill 100 feet away send in sleeping gas & cam to check for traps then head tap his ass that bus driver should have been armed? ware is the father & mother they should ask for there kid back fuck this I'm keeping my GUNS.

  8. Robert Martin Shehan

    I'm not religious. How about YOU pray instead of getting mad at me?

  9. Paula D'Uva

    Have a heart will you! Think of this poor child and the family what they are going through!!!! instead of protecting your all favorite GUN!

  10. Anonymous

    WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH PEOPLE? That poor baby and his family. I cannot believe some one saw this guy building an underground bunker and said nothing. I pray for the family and that little boy is returned safely to his family.

  11. Robert Martin Shehan

    Not to go against what you're saying, but he DOES live in Alabama. It's prone to tornadoes, and having an underground shelter is common.

  12. Virginia Roccaforte Pretz

    My Husband is a School Bus Driver and my Daughter is close to Graduating from College to become a Teacher. I agree I would feel better if they could carry either a gun or Mace or something in case of an intruder or a student that looses control with a weapon…Arming those that protect children while in school and traveling to and from school will never happen in my lifetime…The killing will continue…What ELSE has to happen before this is law?

  13. Virginia Roccaforte Pretz

    You are right Judith! I have been so worried and upset for him..3 1/2 days with that crazy man..I have prayed and prayed for his safe return. Hopefully the man has not molested him or hurt him in any way…His poor Parents must be loosing their minds with worry and fear! This one is just awful!!!!

  14. Virginia Roccaforte Pretz

    The little boy's name is Eathan..Bless his heart <3

  15. Bob Aj Simonton

    Just wondering if the negociaters could convince the kidnapper that the boy needs oxygen for his medical condition get him to agree to put an oxygen mask on the boy then pump odorless sleeping gas in the bunker and put this to an end?