An attorney accused of robbing an Edmond pharmacy to obtain painkillers leaped from a ledge outside OU Medical Center's Presbyterian Tower on Thursday after another apparent suicide attempt earlier in the day. Robert Behlen, 50, was in serious condition at the hospital's trauma center soon after the fall, said Allen Poston, hospital spokesman. His condition later was downgraded to critical. Behlen, a father of three, held authorities at bay for about four hours Thursday after locking himself inside a hospital room. Wearing a hospital gown and no shoes, the Edmond man exited the room through a pivoting window and spent much of the four hours on a ledge outside the fifth floor of the tower. He periodically re-entered the hospital room and was inside just moments before he fell. About 4:45 p.m., "I saw two sheriff's tactical team members come out onto the ledge,” said Steve Gooch, a photographer for The Oklahoman. "They came out of the adjoining room, I guess, the one to the east of him, while he was inside of the room. "They worked their way across the ledge. They had safety harnesses and ropes on. The guy in the lead appeared to have a yellow Taser in his hand. At the point the guy (Behlen) saw him, he came out of the window head-first. There was a struggle out there on the ledge, and then the guy forced himself over the ledge. "He definitely leaped.” Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said one of the deputies twice fired a Taser device, which disrupts muscular control by means of electrical current. The first shot missed, hitting the window. The second may have hit Behlen, but it did not shock him. "It was just like a linebacker charged over the top of those deputies, trying to push and knock one of them, at least, out of the way,” he said.
Building's roof broke fallWhetsel said it did not appear the attorney was trying to push the deputy from the ledge, but he nearly did. Behlen fell about 30 feet onto the roof of a nearby two-story building. After falling, he was conscious and coherent. Behlen was due in court at 3 p.m. Thursday for a detention hearing on federal robbery and firearm charges filed last week. On Monday, prosecutors asked a magistrate judge in Oklahoma City to keep him in jail pending trial, contending he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. But sometime before his scheduled court appearance, Behlen — who was being held in the Oklahoma County jail — stabbed himself in the neck with a pencil, said Mark Myers, sheriff's spokesman. Behlen was taken to OU Medical Center for treatment. At some point, Behlen locked out the deputy who was guarding him, Myers said. The window does not open easily but was not locked, in case it was needed as a fire exit, said Poston, the hospital spokesman.
Who is Robert Behlen?Behlen is a partner in the law firm of Behlen, Bentwood & Luther in Oklahoma City. He was arrested Sept. 18 after a bizarre armed robbery of the Barrett Drug Center, 410 W Edmond Road. Authorities accuse Behlen of entering the pharmacy armed with a .22-caliber handgun three times, demanding narcotic drugs and threatening everyone inside. According to a federal court document, more than 1,600 pills were found in the front seat of Behlen's white sport utility vehicle after his arrest. Edmond police used a Taser on him during his arrest. Contributing: Staff Writers Jim Killackey and Jay Marks
Robert BehlenThe lawyer was accused of entering a drugstore with a .22-caliber handgun three times. Authorities said he demanded narcotics and made threats.