TULSA, Okla. – The standoff between Tulsa police officers and a mentally ill man who scaled a broadcast TV tower ended Tuesday after nearly six full days. Twenty-five-year-old William Sturdivant II remained about 100 feet up on the Clear Channel communications tower in what police say is the city's longest standoff at more than 120 hours.
Sturdivant was taken to a hospital to be treated for dehydration and expected to be later transferred to a mental health facility, Tulsa police spokesman Leland Ashley said.
"He was very weak. We didn't force him to come down," Ashley said.
Rescue crews including a police negotiator had continued to offer Sturdivant food and water, conditional on him agreeing to come down from the 300-foot tower. Television footage showed the man accepting water for the first time since Friday.
Officials had been concerned that his body would begin to shut down.
A police negotiator in a lift attached to a ladder on a Fire Department truck talked to the man Tuesday and at times touched his hand in an effort to persuade him into the bucket, but he backed away each time.
Television footage showed the man getting into the lift attached to the Fire Department truck.
Officers couldn't force the man down and it was logistically impossible to place a net under the tower in case he fell because the structure is so massive, Ashley said.
The man was wearing only a pair of shorts as temperatures reached into the upper 90s Fahrenheit Tuesday afternoon. There was room on the metal lattice for him to take naps and he continued to occasionally shout at people and officers below.
A Clear Channel spokeswoman said the company's staff found the man in an unauthorized area Thursday morning, and that's when he ran from security guards and scaled the tower.
Dozens of onlookers flocked to the site, and mental health experts urged caution and compassion from members of the public, who took the Internet to weigh in on the situation.
Ashley said he wasn't sure if the man would face charges.
"The only charge criminally he could face would be trespassing, and for us, that's only a citation or a ticket," Ashley said. "But we're under the belief that he's probably suffering from mental health issues."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.