Officers try to negotiate with man on tower


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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 8/16/2011 9:30 am Published: 8/15/2011 10:20 pm


Tulsa ---

It is now day five of the standoff between William Sturdivant II and Tulsa Police.

And many are asking exactly what’s being done to get him down safely, and what else can police do?

The Tulsa Police department’s negotiation team has been working around the clock trying to bring this to a safe end.

"We need to be patient. This gentleman's life is worth something. This is what we're here for. This is our job,” says Captain Ryan Perkins with the Tulsa Police department.

Members of the Tulsa Police department’s special operations team are no strangers to standoffs.

"The longest anyone has found so far has been about five hours, so this is a pretty unprecedented standoff,” says Perkins.

Right now, negotiators are using every possible way to safely coach Sturdivant off the tower.

"We did give him some water and a cell phone. We've used a number of ways to communicate with him,” says negotiator Tom Milburn.

"We've played tapes of his family addressing how much they care and how much concern they have and they want him to be safe,” says Milburn.

Perkins says they’ve even consulted with other negotiation teams around the country as well.

"We've bounced things off of people. We've asked them if they have any other ideas and they say we're pretty much right on path, and we've used pretty much all the strategies they can come up with based on his profile,” he says.

And he has some advice for other units dealing with this type of situation.

"I think it's certainly worth other negotiations teams looking at this on how this can stress your staff and your patience,” says Perkins.

So for now, the strategy is simple.

"In the sense that he's in great danger as long as he's up in the tower, what we want to accomplish is to maybe leverage his thirst to get him to come down,” says Milburn.

The special operations team has been in constant contact with the medical director for the state of Oklahoma.

He tells them the strategy that is being used right now of telling Sturdivant that it’s time to come down to get water and food is exactly what should be done.

By refueling him up on the tower it will only make the process longer.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

thefixer - 8/16/2011 3:03 PM
0 Votes
I took pictures on day four. The base of the tower has building around it that vary in height. Setting up anything to catch him just isn't feasible. It's also easy to say "just leave him alone, or just let him jump". Contrary to reports, there just isn't that much in the way of law enforecemt out at this location. I found onlookers to be sparce. It's about a 800 yard perimeter that has been set up. "We" just haven't dealt with a situation like this. My thought of "screw the crazy guy", went out the window after I'd watched him for 10 minutes. Anyone with a heart that visits the scene will have a bigger one when they leave. Hoping for the best..we love ya, Tower Man.

cando - 8/16/2011 10:16 AM
0 Votes
Go stretch a hammock where he can sleep in it. Tell him you just want him to be safer when he sleeps. when he falls asleep in it shoot him with a tranquilzer. When he's out then go get him safely off the tower.

tfm920 - 8/16/2011 9:14 AM
0 Votes
To 44OhiO4, the tower is wider at the bottom and narrows as it goes up. I doubt the police can set up a net to "catch" him if he falls. He likely won't clear the tower and will hit other parts of the tower on the way down.

440hi04 - 8/16/2011 2:48 AM
0 Votes
Understand* spelling error

440hi04 - 8/16/2011 2:34 AM
1 Vote
I'm from Ohio and have been following this story for days now. I don't understabd why they don't just put a net below him while hes sleeping, go up to rescue him, and if he falls he will be safe. If he dies from lack of food and water that will be on your hands. Gotta be stealthy and smarter than this individual. Good luck. Hope the guy lives.
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