Alabama hostage situation ends with safe release of child
A harrowing hostage crisis in Alabama that lasted five days has come to an abrupt end after the kidnapper was killed by American police officers.
Jimmy Dykes had been holding a five year old boy, identified only as Ethan, since kidnapping him from a school bus that was carrying 20 students last Tuesday morning.
Ethan was taken by Dykes following the cold-blooded murder of the bus driver after he refused to allow Dykes access to the children.
The driver has been identified as 66 year old Charles Albert Poland and he has been hailed a “hero who through his brave actions saved so many lives”.
After the kidnapping, Dykes took the boy and held him in a bunker near his trailer home. It is believed that the negotiators communicated with him through a pipe that passed through the wall of the bunker.
The talks were said to have “deteriorated” when the police felt it necessary to take forceful action and Mr Dykes was killed.
Mr Dykes, a former Naval soldier who served in the Vietnam War, was said to have been killed after negotiations with the law enforcement officials broke down and they felt the child was in “imminent danger”.
No further information regarding Dykes’ death has yet been released and likely it won’t be until the investigation has been completed.
The young boy is believed to suffer from Asperger’s syndrome and attention hyperactivity disorder and is now being treated in hospital and is believed to be in fine physical health. Mr Dykes did continue to allow medication and colouring books to be delivered for the boy.
Steve Richardson, who was the special agent in charge of the situation, has said that the young boy is “very brave and very lucky”.