The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Police: Hostage Taker in Alabama Standoff Has ‘Anti-America’ Views

By Ryan Lenz on January 30, 2013 - 8:53 am, Posted in Antigovernment, Extremist Crime

The man who ignited a hostage standoff in southern Alabama when he shot a bus driver and took a child into an underground bunker is a “survivalist” who has antigovernment views, an official with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office told Hatewatch this morning.

The gunman is identified as Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, a Vietnam veteran. On Tuesday afternoon, Dykes allegedly stormed into a school bus in Midland City, Ala., shooting the bus driver four times with a 9 mm pistol before taking a child to an underground bunker behind his home. The bus driver, identified as 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr., later died.

Tim Byrd, chief investigator with the Dale County Sheriff’s Office, told Hatewatch that Dykes had “anti-America” views. “His friends and his neighbors stated that he did not trust the government, that he was a Vietnam vet, and that he had PTSD,” Byrd said. “He was standoffish, didn’t socialize or have any contact with anybody. He was a survivalist type.”

Law enforcement officials said the hostage, a 6-year-old boy who has not been identified, “is okay” and had recently been delivered some needed medication. Police continue to communicate with Dykes through a PVC pipe leading into the bunker. Officials have cancelled classes at local schools, and Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson cautioned local residents to avoid the scene.

It was not immediately clear what prompted Dykes to storm the bus, but his motives appear to be related to a menacing charge in December. That month, Dykes pointed a gun at his neighbor, James Edward Davis Dr., who told the Dothan Eagle that Dykes accused him of driving on his yard. Dykes was scheduled to have a bench trial today on the charge, and an unidentified girl who Dykes released from the bus told reporters that Dykes was referring to his upcoming case.

A neighbor of Dykes, who identified himself as Mike Creel, said that Dykes moved on to his property about two years ago and began building an underground bunker, measuring about four by six feet and eight feet deep, right away, according to WSFA-TV. “It’s the craziest thing,” Davis told the Dothan Eagle. “He will be outside in his yard digging at 2:30 in the morning.”

  • http://xlowridertimespanchovilla Antonio Perales del Hierro

    My fellow Latins can be as backward and bigoted as other cultures, and I have been unpleasantly surprised at the blithe manner and seeming assuredness with which I have heard some of them allude to Jews or a conspiracy of Jews as a “major social/cultural/political problem” in their respective nations or communities. But I believe that “Barbarotico/Machoviejo” is deliberately devising a Latin style “mispronunciation” as a form of written “accent”, along with a collection of soubriquets of subterfuge, yes, his “sock-puppets” with Latin sounding names. So that to add Barbacoa and Borracho to the list is assuring him that his ploy is working. Neither SPLC readers nor posters are being respected, by way of these games-which in my view points to this poster’s own issues with self-respect, and certainly with his self-awareness. I feel that it’s safe to refer to “him” in this case, because correct me if I’m wrong, men tend to employ these gambits more than do women. As for Chad: you are not being called a hypocrite because you think abortion is wrong, you are being described that way to yourself because you have standards for others , among others of the issues that you present, standards that you cannot seem to apply to yourself. The accusation of your hypocrisy references, for the moment, not abortion, but how your thinking process functions–and how you are rather stuck on yourself, and demonstrate huge gaps in your self-awareness, and therefor in what you posit as arguments, which leaves you quite obtuse. You seriously lack empathy for others, in this case women, and their circumstance. Whether you are talking to friend, or to opposition, you need to factor in where people are coming from. I have a lot of years on you, but I see this discussion group as a wonderful gathering of what for the moment I will call the “forensics” required come to grips with ideas, philosophies; points of view. Look at what may be not the best example, but here goes: that ICS-type tv fare. You have people good at ballistics, at examining crime scenes, at discerning why and how how human relations lead to, or can lead to violence, at why, and how humans try to hide and escape from the repercussions of their acts, good or bad, etc. I see something like that in this team of “regulars”–how utterly great! But if we only spend time with people who agree with us–that can be an intellectual and even spiritual death–which is bad enough for us as individulas–but worse, is a transmittable condition. Be careful about that. Don’t be too partisan. Stick around and share ideas so we can all of us suss them out, and all benefit from it.

  • concernedcitizen

    @Reynardine: you stated: Quite a few of us did, and do, know how veterans are being treated. Dammit, we try. Notwithstanding that the caseloads of every legislator are stuffed with veterans who have been screwed out of their benefits, nothing budges, because the VA has become overloaded with types who think that, once a service person is past use, they have become a *bad investment*. You can thank Friedman economics for that.

    I have also found that because service men and women are trained to take orders that they are largely taken advantage of when they go to get their benefits. When the VA plays hide and seek with educational funds or medical entitlements they have people trained to discourage and disrupt the veterans pursuit.

    Even in the case of trying to address matters legally they have ways of putting up a wall for that as well. However, one should not give up the fight. That is exactly what they are counting on.