Former Boss Describes Man In Tulsa Tower Standoff As 'Normal Guy'

Tuesday, August 16th 2011, 4:43 pm

By: News On 6

Dan Bewley, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Tulsa Police Department's longest standoff ended Tuesday afternoon after six days.

William Sturdivant first climbed on top of the Clear Channel communications tower Thursday morning. He's alternated between sitting, standing, and lying down.

8/14/2011 Related Story: Tulsa Tower Standoff Moves Into Day 6

Sturdivant has a criminal record of burglary and drug possession.

From late April until the end of June he worked for Russell Deming at a Tulsa telemarketing company.

"I just worry that he may continue to diminish to the point where he may slip and fall," Deming said.

Deming said the company's owner stopped paying bills and employees stopped getting paychecks. But, he says, Sturdivant remained at the company, hoping to find a way to support his unborn child.

"He had an opportunity and he took it. He stayed with it and he stuck with it," he said.

Sturdivant eventually left the company and that's when Deming says he cracked, at one point walking from Tulsa to Dallas.

There have been reports that Sturdivant has mental issues, but Deming says he never saw any evidence to support that.

"I saw that and I heard that in the social media outlets and the other places and that may or not be the fact, but what I saw and what I was around, no he wasn't, he was a normal guy and, like I said, he was a go-getter," Deming said.

Sturdivant's time on the tower has generated international attention, from Twitter to Facebook and other sites online. It even has some people trying to profit with a website selling Tower Guy t-shirts.

None of that sits well with Deming.

"It makes me sad that all these people are commercially using him and his circumstances to promote their businesses or other things," he said. "It's ironic that they would do such a thing on the shoulders of a guy who's fractured and broken because of that."

Deming wants the public to know that Sturdivant is just a normal person who had a hard time dealing with life's troubles. He'd like people to stop making jokes at Sturdivant's expense and just hopes that he gets the help he needs.


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