Tulsa Tower Standoff Ends After Man Surrenders
NewsOn6.com & Lacie Lowry, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The longest standoff in Tulsa history is over.
After six days and nearly 128 hours, William Sturdivant II, 25, came down from the Clear Channel radio tower at 27th and Memorial about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday.
The man who reassured Sturdivant to safety was retired TPD crisis negotiator Tyrone Lynn.
"It can go any way, and thank God, obviously there were some people out there praying," Lynn said.
Police called Lynn in specifically to help and the progress was a constant back and forth.
"Take my time and develop some rapport and kind of keep things on his terms as much as possible and when that broke down, just to reel him in a little and just be patient with him," he said.
Lynn tried several different tactics to coax Sturdivant down from the 300-foot tower, like splashing water on the 25-year-old's face.
Video showed Sturdivant accepting a bottle of water from Lynn at one point Tuesday. It was the first time he had taken water since Friday.
"Some of it was his emotions from the heat and then the other part of it was obviously his mental condition and physically. It's so hot up there and that metal was -- I don't know how he was doing it," he said.
At one point, Sturdivant actually passed out and Lynn grabbed him so he wouldn't fall.
"I was actually tickling his feet to try and bring him to," he said.
With Sturdivant's sister and other family watching and worrying, Lynn says the tactic that finally worked was compassion.
"We finally assured him that everybody down here was rooting for him and this was a day he could win and we forgive him, nobody's upset with him and when we got down, we were going to make sure he got some help," he said.
Crowds gave a long overdue applause when they saw the peaceful ending.
"Oh, tears of joy," Darlyne Robbins, an onlooker, said. "It took me a minute to realize he was fully in and then, me and another later, that was all it took."
"I was really excited because he's been there for quite a long time," said onlooker Miquel Smith.
Sturdivant was taken to a hospital to be treated for dehydration and was expected to be transferred to a mental health facility for observation, Tulsa police spokesman Leland Ashley said.
He could face trespassing charges.
"The only charge criminally he could face would be trespassing, and for us, that's only a citation or a ticket," Ashley said. "But we're under the belief that he's probably suffering from mental health issues."
Sturdivant, who has a criminal record of burglary and drug possession, climbed the tower about 11 a.m. last Thursday, August 11, 2011.
Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett was on the scene Tuesday evening to thank Tulsa Police and fire officers for their work throughout the six day standoff and to congratulate Tyrone Lynn.
"I asked Tyrone that when we have our next police academy, I'd like for him to come and help teach the cadets on that aspect of patience and what it means," Bartlett said. "What a great way for a group of cadets hear from one of their own give a first-hand recollection of that experience."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.