A man who climbed up a 300-foot Tulsa area radio tower six days ago has finally returned to solid ground after days of failed negotiations with police.
William Sturdivant II, 25, had sat on the Clear Channel radio tower since 11 Thursday morning before he finally stepped into a bucket attached to a ladder truck with negotiator Tyrone Lynn around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. It put an end to the city's longest ever standoff that put a retired police negotiator back in action.
Several times throughout the afternoon viewers watching the live stream of events from local station NewsOn6 waited anxiously as Sturdivant locked arms with the negotiator, shaking hands, and even stepping into the bucket for a sip of water. Several times it seemed that the ordeal would end, yet the saga dragged on until the early evening.
"He started to pass out and I had to grab him to keep him from falling, so for a minute there he was just completely out. So I was just holding on to him, then he kind of snapped back into it and then we started over again," Lynn told local ABC station KTUL.
"We finally assured him that you know everybody down here was rooting for him and that this was a day that he can win and we forgive him and nobody's upset with him and that when we got down we were going to get him some help," Lynn added.
Clear Channel spokeswoman Angel Aristone said the drama began Thursday morning when staff "found an unidentified man breaking and entering into a clearly marked unauthorized area on our property."
Police say Sturdivant has a history of mental illness and was reportedly chased off the roof of the Clear Channel Communications building near 27th Street and Memorial Drive on Wednesday, a day before he climbed the tower.
Sturdivant's stunt was the talk of the Oklahoma city, with one restaurant even offering Tower Guy five-topping pizzas to mark the man's fifth day aloft. Twitter hashtags popped up online and, when Sturdivant lost one of his shoes, a spectator claiming to have retrieved it was selling it online.
Tulsa County court records show that Sturdivant has previous convictions that include second-degree burglary and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He was released from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in April, according to the DOC's Web site.
After several sleepless nights without food and water, Sturdivant was in a Tulsa hospital and listed in serious condition Tuesday night.