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

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." (More Jimmy Lee Dykes stories.)

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