Man On Tulsa Tower Refuses Rescue Efforts

Sunday, August 14th 2011, 8:50 am

By: News On 6

UPDATE: William Sturdivant II surrendered to authorities about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday. He was lowered from the tower in a bucket.

Staff Reports

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A man involved in the Tulsa Police Department's longest standoff ever resisted more attempts by rescue workers to get him to come down from the Clear Channel radio tower at 27th and Memorial Tuesday.

William Sturdivant II, 25, has been trespassing on the 300-foot tower since about 11 a.m. Thursday.

As of Tuesday at 6 p.m. Sturdivant has been on the tower for 128 hours.

A Tulsa Police negotiator spoke with Sturdivant for several hours Tuesday afternoon.  The negotiator was hoisted up in a bucket, where he talked with Sturdivant, and at one point, even grabbed his hand.

Tuesday morning Sturdivant asked for a meal from Whataburger, then asked for Oreos and milk, according to police.

Tulsa officer Leland Ashley said there were no plans to try to force him down from the tower and said it would be logistically impossible to place a net under the tower in case he fell because the structure is so massive.

"We've had people ask that question and there really isn't a way to put up any type of netting in case he falls," Ashley said. "It truly is a waiting game."

At one point Monday, he climbed about half way down the tower, but went no lower.  He could also be seen taking brief naps Monday afternoon.

Tulsa Police are asking residents to stay away from the scene. They say, in some cases, spectators have hampered efforts to get him to come down.

"We've had a couple of times when we've made some progress with him and then the crowd will start yelling and screaming things, it will distract him, and we'll regress and go 12 hours back in time with the progression that we've made with him," Ryan Perkins, with Tulsa Police, said.

"We don't want people yelling, screaming, taking pictures. We would like people to, basically ignore him," he added.

Spectators who continue to cause problems and obstruct officers are subject to arrest, Perkins said.

8/13/2011 Related Story: Police Downgrade Response As Tulsa Tower Standoff Nears Day 4

Sturdivant managed to sleep on parts of the framework during the day Saturday and overnight Sunday. At one point he lost or kicked off his tennis shoes, so he was then clad only in shorts, a T-shirt and red socks.

He shouted down to police officers repeatedly through the night Saturday, telling them he'd rather be on the tower than "down there," and crowing like a rooster as the sun rose.

He denies that he plans to commit suicide.

"There's no such thing as suicide," he said.

Butler agreed that he doesn't believe William is suicidal; however, he noted that could change at any time.

"Honestly, if he was wanting to jump, I think it would have happened by now. But that doesn't mean it won't happen in the next five seconds," Senior Negotiator Cole Butler said.


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