"Tower man:" one year later


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Updated: 8/14/2012 9:44 pm Published: 8/14/2012 7:56 pm


Last year, FOX23 talked with Tyrone Lynn, the retired TPD Negotiator who helped bring down William Sturdivant, also known as “Tower Man,”  after Sturdivant spent 128 hours perched on the tower outside the building FOX23 shares with Clear Channel Radio.
 
“It's a good day for the city to help a young man who's struggling through mental illness like that,” Lynn said in 2011.
 
A year later, FOX23’s Adam Paluka caught up with Lynn to discuss about how he  was able to convince William to come off the tower.
 
“Maybe my personality fit with his, and it just worked out,” Lynn said.
 
It worked out to be one of the most memorable negotiations of his career.
 
“It is the most interesting for sure, I never thought I'd be negotiating up that high, face-to-face like that.”
 
While Lynn was the final piece to a team that was finally able to coax William down after six days, he says the credit should be spread out to the other emergency responders who were part of the team.
 
“A lot of people gave me credit for getting him down, and it certainly was a team effort.”
 
Lynn reflected about why so many people took an interest in William’s story.
 
“I think this is first time that people got a chance to see that mental illness is not just a crazy person. It's a person who's going through something, and they need help.”
 
Lynn has kept in touch with William.
 
“We've talked, and he's doing well. He seems to be real encouraged, and I am happy about that.”
 
He's most happy that 365 days ago, there was a happy ending instead of a tragic one.
 
“I am thankful to God that William's okay, because to be up there that long is just amazing,” Lynn told FOX23.
 
EMSA Paramedic Scott Williams remembers the “Tower Man” saga well.
 
“It was a long, drawn-out ordeal in the heat. It was just amazing to see a man who could exceed our expectations,” Williams said.
 
The expectations about William Sturdivant, now 26, were based on years of training and on the job experience.
 
“Any situation like that with the heat the way it was, we would have expected this to last about three or four days.”
 
They were so sure William would succumb to the heat, hunger, thirst, and fatigue that emergency responders on the ground never took their eyes off him.
 
“We had a visual watch on him, every 15 minutes making sure we were watching every move he was making, and every so often we would holler out at him and make sure he would respond to us.”
 
When William finally came down, “(EMSA) expected him to be extremely unhealthy, we expected his condition to be deteriorated by the time he did come down,” Williams said.
 
When medics checked him out, William was extremely dehydrated, very hungry, and alive. He spent a few days at a Tulsa hospital.
 
FOX23 tried to interview William Sturdivant for this story, but our calls to him and his family were not returned. Two months ago, William was seen wandering around the property FOX23 shares with Clear Channel Radio. Security enhancements have been made to the area around the communications tower in the past year.



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