Alabama boy held hostage: Do you storm the bunker?

Sunday marked six days that a 5-year-old boy has been held in a bunker by a 65-year-old man and every day my husband wants to know why the SWAT team hasn’t stormed the bunker?

As a father it is making my husband crazy to watch this drama unfold and that little boy be left alone with this 65-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed the boy’s bus driver and then took him to an underground bunker on his rural Alabama property.

My husband just can’t understand why they haven’t gone in to get him, and I am wondering is that a common feeling among fathers?

My assumption is the police are talking with the man and feel like he must be taking OK care of the little boy. It’s my understanding he is accepting medicine for the little boy. I guess we don’t know if he’s really giving it to him or what else is happening in there.

I think the police are hoping to come to a peaceful agreement with the man to let the little guy out instead of risking the cops or the man shooting the little boy if they come in.

Here is some more information on the story from The Associated Press:

“…Authorities say Jim Lee Dykes, 65 — a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War known as Jimmy to neighbors — gunned down a school bus driver and then abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus, taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland Jr., was to be buried Sunday.

Dykes, described as a loner who railed against the government, lives up a dirt road outside this tiny hamlet north of Dothan in the southeast corner of the state. His home is just off the main road north to the state capital of Montgomery, about 80 miles away.

The FBI said in a statement Sunday that authorities continue to have an open line of communication with Dykes and that they planned to deliver to the bunker additional comfort items such as food, toys and medicine. They also said Dykes was making the child as comfortable as possible…”

Besides allegedly shooting and killing the bus driver, here’s the scary part for me.

“…Neighbors described Dykes as a man who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property, and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a firearm. Michael Creel said Dykes had an adult daughter, but the two lost touch years ago.”

Here’s why he has a bunker on his property:

“His property has a white trailer that, according to Creel, Dykes said he bought from FEMA after it was used to house evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. The property also has a steel shipping container — like those on container ships — in which Dykes stores tools and supplies.”

“Next to the container is the underground bunker where authorities say Dykes is holed up with the 5-year-old. Neighbors say the bunker has a pipe so Dykes could hear people coming near his driveway. Authorities have been using the ventilation pipe to communicate with him….

…Such bunkers are not uncommon in rural Alabama because of the threat of tornadoes.”

So what do you think: Are you wondering why they haven’t stormed the bunker while the man is sleeping? Is this a dad response or are moms feeling that way too? Do you think the police feel like the little fellow is not being harmed while being held? As a parent, what would you want the police to do?

68 comments Add your comment


February 4th, 2013
12:54 am

Wait until he is asleep and pump in a bit of ’stay extra sleepy’… then peel the door off. Or tell him Obama was assassinated.


February 4th, 2013
1:02 am

Of course not, unless you want to kill the child. And no sleeping gas either, PLEASE, unless the child is already deceased, because anything what would quickly incapacitate a 180 pound adult would almost certainly be lethal to a small child.


February 4th, 2013
1:11 am

Absolutely not! Every effort must be make to end this peacefully or that little boy risks being killed or, at the very least, traumatized. HE is the most important consideration, not capturing the crazy man. I say promise him anything you have to to get the little boy out.


February 4th, 2013
1:31 am

if the boy is still life, it is easy. and u want the man dead, it’s easy. if i am the officer in charge of this situation, the case could have been solve 2 days ago.


February 4th, 2013
1:32 am


Lydia Brown

February 4th, 2013
2:56 am

I’m praying everyday that he will surrender..I will fast tomorrow and be in prayer all day..PLease Lord help this family and this child…….


February 4th, 2013
2:56 am

As a mom, I am flipping out that they haven’t stormed the bunker. I read somewhere that they didn’t want to use sleeping gas because it might “agitate” the kidnapper. I have never seen an agitated sleep person do anything worse than accidentally kick the cat off the bed, so that excuse isn’t flying with me. I read somewhere else that the guy wants a reporter to go in and record the man’s tantrum about the government- I ask you: “Is there a human being alive who wouldn’t trade themselves for this baby boy and record the story?” I’ll do it! Is there a shortage of volunteers to trade places with this boy? NO! A resounding “no.” So yes, I’m with your hubby on this one- storm the place or give me a really good excuse why not!!!

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Alan Gibbons

February 4th, 2013
4:15 am

WT*? Am I seriously the only one that thinks this has gone on for way too long? They have a PVC pipe they’re communicating with and they HAVEN’T pumped sleep gas in there and rescued the kid? What is he doing to that kid? Pull the boy out and put a bullet in the head of the guy who snagged him. If anybody asked, he had a gun, you had to put him down. America supports this. Jesus H. Christ. Get it over with already.

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February 4th, 2013
6:22 am

Yes, I am as frustrated as everyone that htis has gone on so long, but be patient. Give the guy every chance to release the boy unharmed. After that, they should release him in the town square and declare “open season” on him. But for the boy’s safety, just let it ride out as long as it takes. I am sure they have plans in place if it looks like he has/is harming the child.


February 4th, 2013
6:50 am

As his mama, I would have begged to be taken in his place. If not that, then waiting is doing less harm probably than storming the place. I hope the police have a better handle on this guy than the rest of us.

What can be done about these nutcases? That is what I want to know. I have a few neighbors that, while not this extreme, are big on guns and defending themsleves from the “unlawful” government.


February 4th, 2013
6:50 am

I have 2 boys, 8 and 4.. if that were one of my boys in there I would be out of my mind. I agree with the husband.. get him the hell out of whatever he wants.. just get that boy out of there.


February 4th, 2013
7:11 am

I have 2 boys, ages 2 and 4 and I am BEYOND livid this is the world we live in now. My oldest son has Aspergers and my stomach is turning jst thinking of how that lil boy feels being there. I am so angry as to why it has gone on this long. Has anyone actually SPOKEN to the child since he’s been in there? And even to sleeping gas seems harsh. I would GLAD beg police to do ANYTHING to get my son back… :-( my heart goes to his parents.. and as for your husband… My husband and I feel the same way… Give him his interview, some sleeping gas, dig crazy underground tunnels.. WHATEVER to get that precious boy out of there!


February 4th, 2013
7:46 am

I was thinking of the police putting some type of sleeping gas gown the pipe and then storming the bunker and rescuing the boy.

bj hanson

February 4th, 2013
8:01 am

Do they know if the suspect is eating? Does this child have a place to use the bathroom.? So sad. I was thinking this morning. Could they send some food in. pizza or whatever,and safely drug both the child and this crazy man. So they can go in and get this baby out unharmed.? I know prob unrealistic,but i wake up,and worry about this daily. Please GOD get this child out of there.


February 4th, 2013
8:05 am

The boy is already traumatized for life, is the raid by police really going to make that much difference in his future therapy requirements?

Ky lady

February 4th, 2013
8:11 am

Does this guy have anybody he is close to? Like mom or brother or sister? Surely he does..have they contacted his family,and are they there? I think this situation is worse than the public knows. Because nobody in their right mind. Would leave this child in an underground bunker this long. They must not have many options considering there is one way in ,and one way out. Please someone come up with a way to get this little boy out of there!


February 4th, 2013
8:13 am

another christian conservative God fearing gun nut goes crazy! THE pervert is probaly molesting the boy.


February 4th, 2013
8:15 am

What about contacting someone from his past? Another Vietnam vet. Or a serviceman he respects.. I know im grasping for straws here, If they arent going to storm the bunker..They need to do something else fast. God Bless.

Fair and Balanced

February 4th, 2013
8:24 am

This is a perfect example of why children should be allowed to carry hand guns. If every single one of us carried a weapon, crime would be virtually eliminated. Right?

Please ban liberalefty

February 4th, 2013
8:47 am

“another christian conservative God fearing gun nut goes crazy! THE pervert is probaly molesting the boy.”

Can someone at the AJC please ban liberalefy, please? He reminds me of the guy who shot up all those kids in CT.


February 4th, 2013
8:47 am

I’m sure they have thought of everything that has been mentioned. They can’t storm the bunker. He totally has the upper hand. He’ll kill that kid in a second, at the first sign of someone entering the bunker. He might even have it boobie trapped in case anyone tries.
@ Lesley. I think when they say they are afraid of agitating him with the sleep gas they mean BEFORE he falls asleep. I’m sure he’s ready for anything. He starts feeling unusually sleepy, he’ll shoot the kid.
Let the professionals do what they do. This is an unprecidented situation and I’m sure they are all just sick about it and trying to make the best decisions.
My question is WHY was he still armed if he shot at neighbors, killed someone’s dog and threatened other children. This is exactly the kind of person that we should take guns away from. I want to know if he was actually arrested for shooting at the neighbors. I was under the impression that is someone was charged with a crime like this their guns could be held until trial? Maybe I’m wrong. It just sounds like this is a sitution where something could have been done to prevent this tragedy.


February 4th, 2013
8:48 am

The nut is a survivalist. Reason to believe he has a gas mask and would be unharmed if they pumped any gas in, but the boy would not. Reason to believe he has the bunker rigged with explosives, which would blow not only him, but the child up.


February 4th, 2013
8:52 am

I believe in the power of prayer, it is the only tool available to us. The more people raising their hands and voice to God in this situation the better.


February 4th, 2013
9:47 am

Its easy to make that call when you don’t bear the responsibility for the outcome. There are numerous reasons why they can’t storm the bunker and/or pump in sleeping gas.

It is primarily because doing either would likely result in the very thing that law enforcement is trying to prevent. That bunker is underground. It cannot be penetrated without alerting the gunman & giving him time to kill his hostage. As far as ’sleeping gas’ is concerned you are talking about administering an anesthetic in a completely uncontrolled manner. Their is so much that could go wrong there. First of all the gunman wouldn’t just fall asleep. He would likely realize he was being gassed and kill his hostage. Based on his background he probably has a gas mask. Finally, anesthetics are very dangerous chemicals. The risk of killing the child with the anesthetic is too great even if it doesn’t prompt the bad guy to shoot him. Bad, bad idea that to my knowledge has never been attempted in a hostage situation for good reason.

We all want the authorities to “doing something” but until the time comes when the risk of assaulting the perps position is determined to be less than the risk of doing nothing that is exactly what is indicated.


February 4th, 2013
9:48 am

the comments here are of more left wing internet a-holes talking out their a-holes


February 4th, 2013
9:49 am

I would imagine that “storming the bunker” with a small child inside wouldn’t end well for the child. As long as the child is alive and the man is talking – keep talking.


February 4th, 2013
9:53 am

Send a telephone handset or cell phone down the PVC pipe for Dykes to better speak to the police. A special phone with explosives inside it. When you have Dykes on the phone and have his confidence you electronically explode the bomb inside the phone killing Dykes.

This method has been used by the Israeli Mossad and is proven to work.


February 4th, 2013
10:24 am

I have no idea what I am talking about, but my assumption is that the have the country’s best hostage negotiators on the scene. I am assuming that they have considered all possibilities and in their professional opinion, storming the bunker just isn’t a possibility right now.

Having said that, my stomach churns at the thought of what that boy and his family are going through.

Mark Santini

February 4th, 2013
10:35 am

They have access thru a PVC pipe. They need to listen with a hi dynamic microphone to his breathing changes as he begins to sleep. When the have determined he is sleeping pump some chloroform gas in there and walk in and take the boy. This is the lowest risk application to extract the boy. If you continue to wait him out as desperation sets in “cabin fever if you will’” he will become unstable and you run the risk of a panic or end game decision which will end badly for the boy. If you apply gas while he is awake he may sense the plan and panic… (end game situation, BAD) This has been done in Russia and Italy with great success! Waiting is the wrong thing to do…. Waco turned ugly because they waited too long and then when every one was at the “end game” it went too Hell rapidly….


February 4th, 2013
10:38 am

One cannot reason with a paranoid schizophrenic. The FBI is not going to be able to “reason” with this man and get him to release the child. In addition, paranoid schizophrenics have a very low tolerance for frustration. This man is likely also experiencing sleep deprivation which will exacerbate his hallucinations and thought disorder. Suicide in the leading cause in premature death of schizophrenics. This man beat a dog to death with a pipe and shot at his neighbors. He won’t hesitate to kill this hyperactive Aspergers child. He may have already killed this child. If bomb sniffing shepherds do not alert for explosives, the FBI MUST gas the bunker with Fentanyl and then quickly rescue the child with Narcan NOW!

Another option to save this boy is that our armed forces also own many helicopters with heat seeking devices. This man could be identified as the larger heat source in the bunker. At this point, one of our fine service men could execute this criminal. If bomb sniffing shepherds have alerted for explosives on the door, the FBI could make a different door to rescue the boy once the criminal is executed.


February 4th, 2013
10:42 am

OMG, what a huge number of incredibly ignorant posters here today! Luckily none of them are involved in making any decisions regarding this horrible standoff.

OBVIOUSLY “storming the bunker” would bring a quick end to the hostage situation. And to the hostage.

And potent-but-safe knock-out gas that could be piped in without skilled medical support already IN the bunker DOES NOT EXIST except on TV and in the movies. Anything that would quickly disable a grown man would even more quickly kill a little kid. And who doesn’t realize that survivalists like this guy would almost certainly have gas masks ready for themselves in their bunkers, at hand at all times, ready for an assault…

Didn’t any of you posters who are so impatient for Rambo to bust in or for Jack Bauer to gas the place ever go to school AT ALL? Seriously, so many of the “suggestions” here are truly pathetic.

The sad fact is that this could go on for weeks, maybe even months depending on Dykes’ provisions and resolve. He’s deeply paranoid, crazed-by-hatred, and obviously incredibly dangerous, and holds pretty much all the cards. Sadly there is NOTHING the authorities can do to bring this to an end other than using maturity, patience, and intelligence, utterly absent from most of the posts here..


February 4th, 2013
10:46 am

I like the phone idea. Ingenious.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 4th, 2013
11:04 am

DB — I agree storming seems like a bad idea with small child — TomS — I think though the space would be too small to sustain a small explosion and not hurt the boy. Also I think this guy is pretty suspicious of anything coming in from the “government” sounds like.

Jawga Boi

February 4th, 2013
11:21 am

How do you storm an underground bunker? I wonder if they could gas him through the pipe and put him asleep for away so they can then dig him out? I feel sorry for that little boy and had him on my mind since I heard he had been crying for his Momma and Daddy. I can’t imagine what his poor parents are going through.


February 4th, 2013
11:23 am

He has his own food and electrical source along with a television to monitor the news. Neighbors state he has stayed in the bunker for 8 days without coming out. He holds all the cards. He’s backed himself into a corner, literally, and realizes there is no way this ends well for him. Negotiating with him is the only viable solution to the child being unharmed. There is an indeterminate amount of weapons and ammunition located in the bunker with him. He has given the gun control movement a poster boy to support background checks and a national registry of weapons. The police have no idea how many weapons or the types he has with him.


February 4th, 2013
11:43 am

Some of you people have been watching way too many Mission Impossible movies. Either that or you are posting parody posts – with all the stupid ‘gas them’ and ’storm the bunker’ scenarios.

This is a no-win situation for the police. Crazy man holds all the cards. It will have to be a waiting game or else the kid probably dies if they try to get in there somehow.

Did crazy man know this kid? Or was it a random abduction?


February 4th, 2013
11:44 am

Hello, Flora. Instead of insulting posters, do your research. Fentanyl can be pumped in and would NOT kill the child if the child was given Narcan quickly. READ about the Russian theatre siege. Yes, people died because enough soldiers couldn’t get into the theatre (all at the same time) to give the 1000 members of the audience immediate Narcan. Those who quickly received a Narcan injection survived. There are only two people in this hostage situation (not 1000) and only one deserves Narcan making this rescue possible. Fentanyl is odorless, colorless, and works within a few seconds. The criminal would not know he was being gassed.

You cannot reason with a paranoid schizophrenic. This situation will end badly unless there is an intervention and the criminal is quickly killed.


February 4th, 2013
12:17 pm

I also initially questioned why they hadn’t pumped “sleeping gas” into the hole at about 3:00 AM when both would likely be asleep. But FLORA68 makes perfect sense in that pumping enough gas in to put an 180 pound man to sleep would likely kill the 6 year old boy. And to the gun nuts who wonder why a sniper hadn’t “taken him out,” guns are the sensible solution only to killing deer, rabbits, etc. for food. How does a sniper “take out” a man in a hold that’s 4 feet under ground. That idea exemplifies typical “gun nut” thinking.

The “government” seems to have the right idea, just wait him out as long as there is no indication of harm to the boy. I’m sure a small camera has been extended to the end of the pipe and activites in the hole are being monitored.

Patience my friends…

Al Gozinya

February 4th, 2013
12:24 pm

They should set up a portable ground penetrating radar system and scan the bunker area to determine if there is any indication of the entry having been booby-trapped.
I will withhold any additional commentary…..


February 4th, 2013
12:26 pm

@OldPsychNurse: The problem with your theory… the administration of Narcan quickly. You assume that they will be able to make quick entry once the hostage taker is knocked out. What if the door is booby trapped? What if it is fortified?

It will take time to get in that bunker. Using your solution, time is something that the child likely won’t have.


February 4th, 2013
12:28 pm

@Tom S, why would he want a cell phone?


February 4th, 2013
12:31 pm

Situations like this and Newtown could be resolved/prevented with two steps:
>Round up ALL the guns and melt them down
>Identify all the birthers and anti-government nuts and ship them to Greenland

Life would then be peaceful, serene and safe.

Stand back and wait for the nuts to explode…..


February 4th, 2013
12:34 pm

No explosion Bubba.
Good luck with that gun thing.