Boy, 5, still held hostage in Ala. standoff
MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — As the standoff with a man accused of holding a 5-year-old boy hostage continued Saturday, a nearby community prepared to bury the beloved school bus driver who was shot to death when the episode started to unfold five days ago.
Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, known as Chuck, was described by folks in his hometown of Newton as a humble hero who gave his life on Tuesday to protect the children on his bus. Visitations for Poland were scheduled for Saturday evening, and his funeral service was set for Sunday afternoon.
“I believe that if he had to do it all over again tomorrow, he would,” said Poland's sister-in-law, Lavern Skipper. “He would do it for those children.”
Authorities said Jim Lee Dykes, a Vietnam War-era veteran known as Jimmy to his neighbors, boarded a stopped school bus filled with 21 children Tuesday afternoon and demanded two boys between 6 and 8 years old.
When Poland tried to block his way, the gunman shot him several times and took one 5-year-old boy, who police say remains in an underground bunker with Dykes.
Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said in a briefing with reporters on Saturday that Dykes has told them that he has blankets and an electric heater in the bunker. Authorities have been communicating with him through a ventilation pipe to the bunker.
Olson also said Dykes has allowed authorities to deliver coloring books, medication and toys for the boy.
“I want to thank him for taking care of our boy,” Olson said. “That's very important.”
Newton, a small hamlet with fewer than 2,000 residents, is about 3 miles away from Midland City, where the shooting and abduction took place.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ISIS beheads American
- Justice to alter removal process for no-fly list
- Scathing report says college trustees fail in mission
- Agency makes high-tech push to improve military vehicles
- Monsoon rains wreak havoc in Arizona
- Woman, 5 children held hostage in home
- Grand jury to hear evidence in Missouri shooting
- Ferguson pledges outreach
- Irwin native among military personnel kept waiting for return of personal vehicle
- Police, protesters collide again in Ferguson
- Health care data breaches hit 30M patients and counting