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'Tower Guy' Day 6: Name released, friends come forward
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'Tower Guy' Day 6: Name released, friends come forward

'Tower Guy' Day 6: Name released, friends come forward
Photo Credit: Rick Couri

'Tower Guy' Day 6: Name released, friends come forward

Police have released the name of the "Tower Guy," a 25-year-old Tulsa man who has held out for well over 100 hours on a broadcast tower high above a parking lot.

William Sturdivant II first climbed the tower last Thursday morning about 11 a.m. Reports indicate that he had been seen inside the Clear Channel Communications building as early as Wednesday, but had eluded security at the time.

Apparently on Thursday, he decided to climb rather than run.

Late Monday afternoon, Blake and Candace Stevens showed up on the scene. Initially, police attempted to run them off; one officer had met Blake Stevens the night before and said Stevens had lied to him about his identity, claiming to be William Sturdivant's brother.

However, the pair didn't give up, and eventually they were allowed to remain on the scene so that Blake could record a message to his close friend, the "Tower Guy."

It turns out that they had both attended high school with Sturdivant at Tulsa Edison. Sturdivant was on the basketball team there, and friends say he was dubbed "Ill Will."

Stevens did record his message, and police duly played it for the man on the tower. He did sit up, and at one point looked down at his friends, who waved frantically and called to him. However, he remained on his perch -- where, police say, his life is in ever-increasing danger.

Officers tell KRMG that he appears to be covered with blisters, both from the sun and from the hot metal on which he's perched -- measured, according to one officer, at 130-degrees F.

Eventually, medical experts tell us, the body will go into renal failure -- the kidneys shut down, and at that point authorities will have only moments in which to act.

They're prepared for that contingency -- but truly hope it doesn't come to that.

The 25-year-old Tulsa man -- with a history of mental issues and physical endurance -- has displayed both during his marathon-like vigil high above the city.

Sunday, the man spent quite a bit of time, on and off, talking to police.

"Right now, I'm in control," he shouted. "If I stay in control, I'm never coming down."

At times, he seemed to ramble. "There's not very many bugs (up on the tower)," he said, "and the air's fresh. Tulsa's beautiful."

He told stories about attending classes for a few months at TCC, and learning to do some film work. "I'm better at learning hands on," he told officers. "This experience I'm going through now, I learned hands on. I've learned a lot."

Later: "I used to do dumb stuff, back in the day -- when I had a life. But that's gone."

And this: "I can stay up here, rain sleet or snow."

Officers respond by trying to reason with him, offering help, trying to calm him down... but they have refused to give him any food or water since early Thursday evening.

 


 

The details...

He managed to make his way to the roof, and then the tower, of the Clear Channel facility about 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

Dozens of police, along with firefighters and EMSA units, rushed to the scene. Little could they know that what looked like a momentary crisis would turn into a record-shattering standoff.

According to Tulsa police spokesman Jason Willingham and Negotiator Cole Butler, the earlier record for a standoff involved a suspect named Butch Bastion, and lasted for 32 hours.

The current standoff passed that point shortly after 7 p.m. on Friday.

Police say the man faces minimal charges, most likely a misdemeanor trespassing charge. Primarily, they say, they're concerned with his safety.

"We certainly don't want him to purposely jump, and we certainly don't want him to fatigue and slip," TPD negotiator Cole Butler told KRMG Saturday morning.

The man has issued no demands, and has not said he wants to kill himself, a rather odd circumstance in such a situation. He has asked for food.

Butler says the man requested a hamburger and a cigarette.

"We've had it waiting for him when he gets down," Butler said.

The previous record for a standoff, according to TPD spokesman Jason Willingham, was 32 hours. That incident involved a suspect named Butch Bastion.

It was an extremely violent confrontation, with the suspect firing more than 200 rounds at officers and sparking an apartment fire.

This week's standoff has been the polar opposite -- if anything, boring, rather than violent.

Police say they have no choice but to stay on the scene until the suspect comes down, and that could take quite a while.

They know from family members that he is an avid rock climber who works without gear, and moreover he has been known to walk to Dallas, Texas to visit family.

Police have scaled back to a small presence on the scene, both to mollify the man and to keep the costs of the ongoing operation under control.

KRMG will continue to update this story as developments warrant.

 

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