Hostage Situation

A hostage situation is said to exist when a person(s) is held or confined against his or her will by one or more individuals. This can occur with or without force or the threat of force and with or without a weapon. Usually, certain demands are made in return for the release of the hostage(s). Hostage takers can be terrorists, fleeing felons, emotionally disturbed persons, past or present disgruntled employees or a violent family member. It should be noted that Yeshiva University will require the assistance of the NYPD in all hostage situations.

If you hear or witness a hostage situation:

  • Remove yourself from any danger by leaving the immediate area
  • Call 911
  • Notify Yeshiva University Security at 212 960-5200
  • Be prepared to give Police the following information:
    • Location and room number of the incident
    • Number of possible hostage takers
    • Physical description and names of hostage takers, if possible
    • Number of possible hostages
    • Any weapons the hostage takers may have
    • Your name
    • Your location and phone number

If you are taken hostage:

  • Remain calm, be polite, and cooperate with your captors.
  • DO NOT attempt escape unless there is an extremely good chance of survival. It is safer to be submissive and obey your captors.
  • Speak normally. DO NOT complain, avoid being belligerent, and comply with all orders and instructions.
  • DO NOT draw attention to yourself with sudden body movements, statements, comments, or hostile looks.
  • Observe the captors and try to memorize their physical traits, voice patterns, clothing, or other details that can help provide a description later.
  • Avoid getting into political or ideological discussions with your captors.
  • Try to establish a relationship with your captors and get to know them. Captors are less likely to harm you if they respect you.
  • If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, either in writing or on tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors. Avoid making a plea 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. It that is not possible, cross your arms, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden moves that a tense rescuer may interpret as hostile or threatening.
  • Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.
  • Do not be upset, resist, or argue if a rescuer isn’t sure whether you are a terrorist or a hostage.
  • Even if you are handcuffed and searched, DO NOT resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.