Tulsa Police Stepping Up Downtown Presence During Big Events

Tuesday, May 19th 2015, 7:52 pm
By: News On 6

Tuesday, a carjacker took a man's vehicle at knifepoint as the man was leaving the downtown Tulsa Doubletree parking garage.

This comes after someone was robbed at gunpoint in downtown over the weekend.

With thousands of visitors coming for the start of the Big 12 baseball tournament, police said they have more officers assigned to downtown than any other part of the city.

5/19/2015 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Ready To Host Big 12 Baseball

Police said they can't stop isolated incidents from happening, but can respond quickly - the armed robbery last weekend, a suspect was in custody within an hour and at Tuesday's carjacking, officers had him within six hours.

Surveillance video from the downtown Doubletree shows a man with a knife in his right hand approach the victim as he was leaving the parking garage.

5/19/2015 Related Story: Downtown Tulsa Hotel Guest Carjacked At Knifepoint

Police said the victim did the correct thing and gave up the vehicle.

It happened just a block away from the police station at a time of day when dozens of officers are arriving for work.

Officers arrested Nick Howard for the crime.

"Isolated incidents happen in a split second and are hard to control. What we can control is the resources we deploy downtown, how we react swiftly and with purpose when an incident occurs and catch the suspects who do things," said Major Travis Yates, Tulsa Police.

He points to the arrest of Clinton Douglas over the weekend. Police arrested him within an hour of someone saying he robbed them at gunpoint. They said he still had the victim's money and a loaded gun in his pockets.

5/16/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police Capture Armed Robber Downtown

Yates said five officers and a supervisor are assigned to work ten-hour shifts in downtown and they add even more officers for big events like last weekend's Mayfest or this weekend's Big 12 tournament.

He said no one can promise a 100 percent crime free experience.

"What we can promise is, down here, we'll be ready. We're going to deploy and anyone who causes harm to someone else, we will take it very seriously," said Yates.

Yates said his team wants to be held accountable for the safety of citizens and visitors in downtown because they recognize how important the area is to the city's economic development.

"We take it personally if people come downtown to prey upon our citizens and will react accordingly," he said.

He said anywhere you get a large group of people, criminals will see that as an opportunity.

Yates said he has officers in cars, walking beats, driving segways and bicycles to make sure they can respond in big crowds as fast as possible to whatever happens.