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Lawyer's leap adds to puzzle
On the fifth floor, ‘it was just like a linebacker charged'

By Augie Frost and Ken Raymond Modified: September 28, 2007 at 1:41 am •  Published: September 28, 2007
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.

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