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Six-day Tulsa tower standoff ends

August 16, 2011 |  5:43 pm

Tulsa_radio_tower_surrender

William Sturvidant II is back on solid ground. After six days atop a 300-foot radio tower with virtually no food or water, he finally agreed to be lowered to safety.

What had been an Oklahoma story gained national attention thanks to various live streaming video feeds that showed Sturvidant perching on the metal bars of the Tulsa tower, sometimes standing, other times squatting. 

In the hour before his rescue, he took some water from a negotiator, who spent hours trying to talk him into coming down. Sturvidant also kept playing with the door of the platform attached to a truck where the negotiator was standing. But just when spectators thought Sturvidant might step onto the platform, he would retreat back onto the tower. 

As temperatures neared 100 degrees today, authorities feared for his health.

It's not clear what motivated Sturdivant to climb the tower. He made no demands.

According to the Tulsa World, he has a history of mental illness and a criminal record. Officials did not think he was suicidal.

For those who watched the ordeal online, its ending was thrilling.

"Tower guy is down!" tweeted one cheerful onlooker.

"Thank God! The poor troubled man sitting atop the high tower in Tulsa OK has finally left the tower safely. Praying he gets better," tweeted another.

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-- Deborah Netburn

Image: Screen grab from the streaming video player of newson6.com.

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