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Hostage Situation

If you see/hear/witness a hostage situation taking place:

  • Get away from being in immediate danger.
  • Notify University Police by calling 210-999-7000.
  • Provide as much information as possible; i.e., location of incident; number of hostage takers and hostages; physical description and names of the hostage takers (if known); any weapons the hostage takers may have; and your name, location and phone number.

If you are taken hostage:

  • Remain calm, be polite, and cooperate.
  • Avoid heroics and acting foolishly.
  • Do not try to be a negotiator.
  • Do not attempt to escape unless there is an extremely good chance for survival. It is better to be submissive and obey your captor(s).
  • Speak normally. Do not complain or become belligerent. Comply with all orders and instructions.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements, comments or hostile looks.
  • Carefully observe the captor(s) and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing, and other details that can help provide a description later.
  • Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with your captor(s).
  • Try to establish a positive relationship with your captor(s) and get to know them. Captors are generally less likely to harm you if they have a personal connection or respect for you.
  • If you are forced to present any type of demands to the authorities, either on tape or in writing, state clearly that the demands are from the captor(s). Avoid making any pleas on your own behalf.
  • Try to stay low to the ground or behind cover from windows or doors, if possible.

In a rescue situation:

  • DO NOT RUN. Drop to the floor and remain still. If that is not possible, keep your hands out and visible, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden movements that a tense rescuer may interpret as hostile or threatening.
  • Wait for instructions and obey instructions you are given.
  • Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer isn't sure whether you are a hostage or a hostage taker.
  • Even if you are handcuffed and searched, DO NOT resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.
  • You will be taken to a safe area where proper identification and status will be determined.