Alabama Sheriff: 'I Want to Thank' Hostage-Taker

Alleged kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes is 'taking care of our child'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 3, 2013 1:37 PM CST

(Newser) – Looks like police are still playing "good cop" on the sixth day of a hostage standoff in rural Alabama, reports NBC News. "I want to thank him for taking care of our child," said the Dale County sheriff of alleged kidnapper Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65. "That's very important." Dykes is accused of shooting a bus driver dead and kidnapping a 5-year-old boy, who has Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Police have already passed medication, coloring books, and toys into the bunker.

“Eighty-five percent or more of standoff situations like this end nonviolently,” said FBI hostage negotiator Clint Van Zandt on the Today show. "Law enforcement doesn’t want to do anything precipitously that could cause anybody to be hurt at this time when the talking cure will likely work in this situation." Meanwhile, people in Dale County mourned the loss of bus driver Charles Poland, 66, who was killed trying to protect the boy. "Every time a child got on my dad’s bus, they were no longer their parents', they were his," said his son. "He considered them his children."

Police vehicles are staged near where a gunman has positioned himself below ground with a child hostage, in Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013.
Police vehicles are staged near where a gunman has positioned himself below ground with a child hostage, in Midland City, Ala. on Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013.   (AP Photo/Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)
This photograph released by the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65.
This photograph released by the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65.   (AP Photo/Alabama Department of Public Safety)
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NBC News reports on the standoff.   (YouTube)

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