Man On Tulsa Highway Sign Climbs Down After Almost 13 Hours
TULSA, Oklahoma - A man who spent the night on a Tulsa highway sign finally climbed down after almost 13 hours.
Authorities said the man said he planned to jump into traffic lanes. Police shut down the westbound lanes and began negotiating with the man.
He finally came down around 7:20 a.m. Thursday. He walked over to the edge of the sign and climbed down, throwing his hands in the air when he got to the ground.
Drivers saw the man climb the westbound sign around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. The man spent nearly 13 hours up there with officers waiting below.
"If you get in the ladder truck, go up there and get in his face, I mean, he might get agitated and jump," Officer Adam Ashley said.
You may remember when a man climbed a tower near 27th and Memorial in 2011 and spent six days up there. At one point, officers unsuccessfully used pepper balls on him.
Police said this time they wanted to give the man space, hoping he'd come down on his own.
"We tried verbal communications two or three different times. We offered water, we offered help but he was the one who made the decision to come down," Ashley said.
After he climbed down, officers took him to a mental health facility for an evaluation. They said this was a clear cry for help.
"That's kind of the same as going to someone and saying, 'I need help,' except he's not doing it verbally, he's doing it physically," Ashley said.
Once down, police gave the man water and put him in the back of a patrol car. One TPD officer gave him breakfast.
EMSA checked him out and officers said the man is recovering from hypothermia and dehydration.
Police have not arrested or identified the man. They said he appeared to be having some kind of psychiatric episode and said he'll get a mental health evaluation.