For a little boy named Ethan this past weekend wasn’t filled with fun and games. On the way home from school the school bus was stopped by local man Jimmy Lee Dikes, who was demanding hostages. The bus driver, Charles Poland Jr., tried to stop Dikes from entering the bus but then was fatally shot by Dikes.
After abducting Ethan from his bus, Dykes took him to a bunker on his property. When the bunker was being built, Dikes told neighbors it was to be used as “a storm shelter”.
The bunker had a PVC pipe that was used in the early stages of negotiation to talk to Dikes. The bunker also contained amenities such as a television and telephone.
In the early stages of the negotiations Dikes allowed officers to provide comfort items to Ethan like toys, games, medicine and, eventually a camera. Ethan has been identified as having Aspergers Syndrome which lands on the autism spectrum.
Dikes and the police kept a semi-constant stream of communication until Sunday night when the talks were starting to change pace. When a view from the camera inside the bunker showed that Dikes was beginning to hold a weapon more frequently is when officers decided to move.
On Monday the officers blew a hole in the roof of the bunker, repelled in and, shot and Dikes.
On Wednesday Ethan celebrated his 6th birthday with his family.