Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:13 PM
FarCenter (17,315 posts)
The Kindergartener Hostage Situation in Alabama Is Now in Its Third Day
A standoff between police and a 65-year-old man who is holding a kindergartener hostage in an underground bunker in rural Alabama is now in its third day, and there have been few outward signs that the situation will come to an end any time soon. The Associated Press with the scene on the ground:
A normally quiet dirt road was teeming with activity around the siege that began late Tuesday. At least a dozen police cars and trucks, a fire truck, a helicopter, officers from multiple agencies, media and at least one ambulance crowded the stretch where the dead-end residential road branches off a U.S. highway near Midland City, population 2,300. A staging area for law enforcement was lit by bright lights overnight.
The whole thing began Tuesday when Jimmy Lee Dykes, a retired truck driver, boarded a stopped school bus and shot and killed the 66-year-old driver after he refused Dykes' demand for two boys between the ages of 6 and 8 years old, according to police. Dykes then grabbed the child and fled to the bunker, where he remains. As downright terrifying as the words "underground bunker" may sound, it appears as though it's a relatively run-of-the-mill tornado shelter, which are relatively common in the area. It is also reportedly stocked with food and equipped with electricity. But while the location may not be as scary as it originally sounded, that's not necessarily a good thing in the long run: According to ABC News, authorities believe that Dykes likely has enough food and water to stay holed up in the by bunker "for weeks." Even more troubling is the picture of Dykes that has emerged. The AP:
The gunman ... was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure 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 shotgun.
The good news is that authorities say they have no reason to suspect that the child has been harmed. He's said to be biding his time by watching television, and Dykes recently agreed to allow police to lower down the boy's medicine, which is naturally being seen as a promising sign for the child's safety. As far as police can tell, Dykes has no relation to the boy. As for a reason for his motivation, the best anyone's come up with so far is the fact that he was due in court yesterday to face a charge of menacing his neighbors with a gun as they drove by his house a few weeks ago.
22 replies, 1686 views
The Kindergartener Hostage Situation in Alabama Is Now in Its Third Day (Original post)
Response to monmouth3 (Reply #13)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:02 PM
LisaL (24,470 posts)
17. No, I wouldn't think.
He is sitting in a bunker. He is armed. He also claims he has explosives. So what is it do you think they could have figured out by now?
Response to LisaL (Reply #9)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:43 PM
snooper2 (21,631 posts)
14. how are they getting fresh air?
Doesn't the army have some orderless colorless gas they can use?
Carbon Monoxide is a little extreme, we don't want to kill the kid, but I'm sure some chemist has mixed up something out there...
Response to bettyellen (Reply #3)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:11 PM
libdem4life (3,839 posts)
6. It's incredibly complicated and expensive and requires adjudication...a legal ruling by a Judge
that the person is "incapacitated". Also, it commits the society/tax payer to incarcerate them to the tune of $40-50,000 per year at worst, and the cost of a Court-supervised Guardian, as well. It is called a Declaration of Incapacitation ... pretty much all rights are taken away forever...with the public or family burden of providing for their basic welfare. It is not taken or entered into lightly and must be ordered by a judge...most especially when there are assets involved. At that point, it may or may not show up in a background check. Certainly not before that.
The concept that the Mental Health industry can do much of ANYTHING in the face of the sheer number of people who have mental problems but have not yet done anything illegal, let alone comitted a mass murder, flies in the face of reality. We can't get physical health coverage for our citizens...which is definable and usually reparative.
The private Mental Health system has only an hour a week for those with money, and/or pharmaceuticals...that's another entire issue...and is nowhere near capable of identifying, let along bearing legal responsibility, for the millions that need help. The public Mental Health System...suffice it to say the cost is the reason that was one of Ronald Reagan's first budget cuts...the costs far outweighed the real public benefit. Public/government psychiatrists earn $400,000 and up, per year.
It's got to be done on the back of weapons users...legal owners...fees and product liability insurance...the industry. That is objective...measurable...and effective. It's not going to be funded in addition to the $175 billion currently added to the tapayer's tab.
Prison is the current mental health destination. Sad, but true.
Response to libdem4life (Reply #6)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:05 PM
FarCenter (17,315 posts)
7. In this case, the perp had already shot at and threatened other people
So regardless of the incapacity of the mental health system, he should have been in prison for assault.
Better to incarcerate violent individuals than to incarcerate harmless drug users.
Response to FarCenter (Reply #7)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:36 PM
libdem4life (3,839 posts)
8. I agree...just posted re California pot...but being put in prison is temporary...particularly if
no one was injured or killed. And each imprisonment of a person makes any future socialization less and less likely. With a police record, there is almost no job or employment, which leads to poverty and criminal acts to get food and money.
The social bar for life imprisonment is very high for lifetime responsibility. That's the issue...how many "minor" criminals do we want to pay huge living costs for? Prisons and guards and health care and psychological care and incarceration room and board are unbelievably expensive. There are benefits to being in prison. Prison guards in California make 6 figures and get 6 figure retirement benefits. There is a reason one of the first acts of Ronald Reagan as Governor of California was to gut the mental health system.
And I don't have any answers...it's a social dilemma.
Response to libdem4life (Reply #8)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:01 PM
bettyellen (25,531 posts)
16. we shld be able to take away the guns even if he doesn't go to jail.
people don't usually get time for making threats. no reason they should be trusted with guns after they have abused that right.
there should be a higher bar for gun ownership than the one we have.
Response to LisaL (Reply #12)
Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:43 AM
marshall (6,470 posts)
22. That is even more chilling
I wonder what sort of background this man has, and whether he has any prior arrests for endangering children. And whether he has some untreated mental disorder.
Response to FarCenter (Original post)
Thu Jan 31, 2013, 06:56 PM
Blue_Tires (37,852 posts)