Man on Bridge Down Safely - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Man on Bridge Down Safely

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It began just before noon, with a call to police of a man out on the bridge.

"He was in an agitated state, just continually pacing but not speaking to anybody," said a Tulsa police officer.

Authorities would spend the next several hours trying to get through to him. As afternoon came, so too did friends and family who recognized him on the news.

"I can't see which way his head's looking. Yeah he is looking this way. I know, he knows I'm here," said a woman who identified herself as a family friend.

Fighting back tears, she pleaded with him from afar to get down.

"Basically my kids grew up with him, he grew up in my house. I'm here. Do you see me? Do you see me?" she said to him.

As for what everyone else saw? The massive fallout from the situation, with a portion of 244 looking like a ghost town for 8 hours.

"I don't know how much longer he can be up there," said Hannah Philbeck.

Crouched down, with a perfect view, she came to see the spectacle.

What is he saying? "Uhm, he's been screaming about water and then, cause nobody's been giving him any water and then he was talking about how they were trying to take away his freedom and he'd rather die before somebody took away his freedom," she said.

Finally, at 8:15, a safe resolution as the man was grabbed by police when he came close to the edge. Later strapped to a gurney and taken to an ambulance.

"This is another example in the city of Tulsa where we take mental health as a real serious, it's a real serious concern for us. We have some of the best negotiators in the country here, and they worked for 8 1/2 hours tonight to take the most measured approach and guarantee that we could get him to come to us, we could take him into custody safely, that we didn't press the issue with him and potentially have a tragedy," said Ryan Perkins of the Tulsa police department. 

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