A 25-year-old man has finally agreed to come down from a Tulsa television station’s tower six days after climbing it and defying would-be rescuers.
In all, he spent 127 hours nearly 150 feet in the air.
Somehow, he got onto the property of the Clear Channel Communications’ KOKI-TV and climbed 100 feet up the tower on Thursday. He last accepted water the following day, then threatened to jump if police and firefighters attempted to reach him.
During his standoff, reporters began digging into his identity and background, discovering a sad tale of a former inmate who was released from April and is dealing with a baby on the way and his mom battling cancer.
Mental health workers expressed frustration with a growing crowd of onlookers, urging them to show compassion to the man. Experts feared some of the more enthusiastic fans might try to encourage him to jump.
Police claim the man even expressed concern to them about onlookers, asking why they were there, specifically pointing out people who had brought their children along.
It’s an interesting commentary on the interest of the general public during such a tense situation. Many question why some television stations will stay on a high-speed chase for hours on end (provided they have the ability to do so) rather than focusing on “real news.”
Yet given the chance, the public will set aside concern about the economy, jobs, world peace, the AIDS crisis, famine and poverty in order to bring their children to the scene of a possibly-unstable man who may be about to leap to his own demise.
Why does the media think anyone would be interested in all the negative stories it covers? Why, indeed.