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Man perches in Tulsa tower for 6th day; viewers riveted

August 16, 2011 |  3:20 pm

Tulsa_radio_tower

If you're currently at work, maybe you should stop reading now.

Because if you're anything like talk show host Sean Hannity, once you start looking at live video feed of the Tulsa man who has spent six days living with virtually no food or water near the top of a 300-foot radio tower in Tulsa, Okla., it's going to be very difficult to look away.

Tweeted Hannity on Tuesday: "The entire staff is watching this live feed on @FoxNews of the guy coming down from the radio tower in Tulsa, OK." 

"is anyone else NOT getting work done because they are watching the Tulsa tower guy?" tweeted  Rustysurette.

The Tulsa tower walker, who has been identified by Tulsa World as 25-year-old William Boyd Sturdivant II, has been on the tower since Thursday morning. According to the paper, he has a bit of a criminal record -- convictions include second-degree burglary and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

He also reportedly has a history of mental illness. On Aug. 10, he was chased off the roof of a Clear Channel Communications building near the radio tower. At 11 a.m. the next day, he showed up on the tower itself, which is also used by Clear Channel.

He did have some food and water Friday night, but then refused food, water and cigarettes until finally accepting a bit more water Tuesday afternoon.

Watching the video feed can be agonizing. Just when viewers begin to think Sturdivant is going to step into the waiting ladder truck's bucket, to be lowered gently to safety, he starts climbing the metal bars again. It's excruciating.

Several people have been continuously on the scene since Sturdivant was discovered on the tower, including four Special Operations Team members, two negotiators and two to four patrol officers. Fire Department personnel are also there.

There's been no word on what motivated Sturdivant to climb the tower. Officials have said that if he were suicidal he would probably have jumped by now; he's told them he doesn't want to be "down there."

They think he's scared to leave his perch. But they're worried that if he doesn't come down soon he might lose consciousness and fall.

To make matters worse, temperatures were expected to reach 100 degrees in Tulsa on Tuesday.

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--Deborah Netburn

Photo: A screengrab of streaming video from NewsOn6.com.

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