TULSA woman attacked and vehicle stolen at downtown State Office complex parking lot

Monday, August 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Last Thursday a woman was beaten in the head, and had her arm broken by an attacker trying to steal her vehicle. It happened at the State Office Building parking lot near 5th and Houston in downtown Tulsa. News on Six reporter Heather Brooker talked with the victim about what happened.

Michelle Sutton had just opened her vehicle's door, when a man wedged himself in the doorway. "I started screaming, honking the horn and he started beating me in the head right here with the board." The attacker broke her arm in 2 places, and then drove off in her truck. Even with all the commotion, Sutton says no one came to help. "I started running across the parking lot screaming help call 911 someone stole my vehicle. Ran into the building, did the same thing, didn't get any response so I went back up to my office and my office manager called 911."

The State Office Building has State Capitol Patrol officers on site. But patrolman Brian Ackerman says it's tough for them to cover so much territory with so few people. "It's a state building. There are many different types of people coming in and out. We do the best we have with the manpower we have." At any given time, there could be as many as 5 people or as few as 2 patrolling these offices. There're no security cameras in the parking lot, and outside patrols are not done on a consistent basis. Ackerman says since they can't be everywhere at one time, employee's need to protect themselves. "If there's something that doesn't look right or someone that they don't feel comfortable with that's standing around their car we encourage them to come to our office."

Some female workers say they're now walking in groups to the car. June Prater, a Probation and Parole worker, "I didn't feel too bad until the lady that was attacked last week. And now we're all leery." But no one is as leery as Michelle Sutton, who says she will now always look over her shoulder when she leaves work. Sutton's vehicle was recovered about 20 minutes after the incident.

Authorities are still looking for the attacker. Sutton describes him as a black male in his late thirties, around 5-feet-11 inches tall. He was wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve red T-shirt. If you have any information you’re asked to call Capitol Police at 581-2000