Stories of Life & Ambition. All Told By an Oklahoman.

Domestic Abuse at an Oklahoma Intersection

“There was no good way to approach her, as the darkness had intensified outside of the range of the dimly lit intersection and to worsen the initial encounter, I was a man in a black coat approaching her after she had just been through an unpleasant domestic violence dispute. You could not see more than a few yards in front of you. So, I carefully engaged her by gently stating, Ma’am, are you okay.”-Anthony Tucker

 

It was roughly 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2015 as I approached the intersection of U.S. Highway 60 (Locally known as Nowata Road) and Madison Boulevard in Bartlesville, Okla. I was traveling home to Dewey, Okla. from a day’s work at my business in Pryor, Okla. Like most winter evenings, it was dark by the time I had arrived upon the intersection and to be honest, the red light that awaited me was unwelcoming. However, it would only be a few moments into the impermanent red light, that would make what happens during this transient phase, permanent and lead me to a broader concern, our safety and the proper use of technology.

To describe the intersection during evening hours is important. It is a dimly lit four-way stop intersection, with traffic lights for both east/west and north/south bound traffic. It has residential properties on two out of the four corners, with a gas station on the northwest corner of the intersection. Besides the faint street lights, the gas station’s fueling station lights provide most of the illumination for the intersection.

Aside from the lighting environment, there was what seemed to be a traffic camera attached to the traffic light poles. While assumption also led me to think that the gas station on the northwest corner, had some type of a private surveillance camera pointed towards their fueling pumps and indirectly, towards the intersection itself. Thus, providing two means of capturing surveillance of the highly trafficked area.

That moment where this impermanent red light traffic stop became indestructible from my memory, was with the slam of the car door in front of me. I was the second car in the far right lane, heading westbound on U.S. Highway 60. The car in front of me was a newer model Jeep Liberty, with navy exterior paint. It was a young woman, 25-30 years old, who had jumped out of the car distraught and visibly in physical pain. She began rapidly walking northbound on Madison Boulevard into the complete darkness of a mostly residential portion of that city street. The now infamous intersection’s red light finally turned green, my heart rate is rapid and my mind begins racing in thought.

Do I continue heading west or do I turn north to check on the woman? What would I want someone to do if this was one of my three younger sisters? Can I really forget what just unfolded in front of me and not feel obligated to help?

I watched as the car for which the woman had so hastily departed from, continued heading northbound. While my conscious lead me astray from my normal route home, as I turned right, northbound on Madison Boulevard in search of the woman. I spotted the woman walking with her overcoat pulled up over her face, with her body’s demeanor giving off the look of someone who was weeping in tears. Besides the fact she had been in what seemed to be a domestic altercation, it was a blistering cold Oklahoma winter evening. I had to stop and ask the woman if she needed any assistance. That is just the Oklahoma thing to do. So, I went further north on Madison Boulevard and made a u-turn.

As I searched for somewhere to park I noticed the woman being confronted by the same vehicle that she had so hastily departed from. This was a short deliberation, as the woman remained on foot and the driver, whom of which I never got a good look at, sped off in rage. To exacerbate the situation there was nowhere to park, so I had to park my vehicle within a private driveway of a residence with a driveway that had direct access to the road. I put my cell phone in my hand ready to dial emergency services if needed and jogged ten yards north to approach the woman.

There was no good way to approach her, as the darkness had intensified outside of the range of the dimly lit intersection and to worsen the initial encounter, I was a man in a black coat approaching her after she had just been through an unpleasant domestic violence dispute. You could not see more than a few yards in front of you. So, I carefully engaged her by gently stating, “Ma’am, are you okay. My name is Anthony and I saw what happened at the intersection.” She initially jumped in fear, but gradually turned her face towards mine and began to communicate with me.

I couldn’t make her face out, as she stood more than a few yards away from me, but she was weeping and had her hands around her mouth. She stated that she was going to walk to a nearby friend’s residence, but I reiterated that I wanted to make sure that she was okay. She asked if her lips were “busted” and if she was bleeding. Now having earned her trust, she removed her hands from her mouth and I could see blood. I began to dial 911, but she begged me not to “call anyone.” I was torn. She promised me that her friend’s was nearby and that she didn’t want any medical or law enforcement assistance. I ran back to my parked car.

Within moments I broke the line of trust with the woman and I called 911. I was patched through to the Washington County 911 dispatcher. I told her my name, my recollection of the incident and my last known whereabouts of the injured woman. It was during my description of the intersection where which the incident began, that I told the dispatcher that there seemed to be a traffic camera that would have captured the incident and the license plate of the vehicle in question. But it was at this moment that the dispatcher informed me that the assumed to be traffic camera was only a traffic sensor. I immediate thought, “are you serious.” It is the year 2015, the gilded age of communication technology and we don’t have traffic cameras at major intersections in Oklahoma.

As the 911 dispatcher put me on hold to dispatch officers to the scene, my worry for this abused woman quickly turned into disgust and disappointment. I wanted swift justice to be served, but unless the woman was found and chose to cooperate with authorities, the images that were scared into my memory, would go unseen and untold.

I am not advocating for state politicians to enact legislation that enables the right to or provides access to funding for communities to place surveillance cameras on every street corner throughout Oklahoma, but I am advocating that our idolized, American democracy is setup for each state to take care of the well-being of its citizens. Thus, I believe that law enforcement surveillance cameras at major intersections are a must in today’s society and to not do so, would make the state negligent in protecting its citizens’ well-being.

With the technological advantages that we are privileged with today, these law enforcement surveillance cameras could connect with a central command center. Allowing the 911 dispatcher to accurately depict the scene to the inroute officers and medical responders. Furthermore, our Gilded Age of technology would enable the recorded footage of the scene of the incident to be used as evidence in any potential civil or criminal suit brought upon the perpetrator.

We’ve read about the major American cities, such as Chicago and New York, who have embraced intrinsic law enforcement surveillance camera systems due to their high levels of crime and post 9/11 fears, perpetually a potential terrorist threat. But, the system we need is not as invasive or financially burdening. Technological advances make this proposed law enforcement surveillance system financially feasible. As the taxpayers, who are the sole benefactor of all things our state and federal government purchases, would benefit immensely by the added safety and security the major intersection surveillance would provide them. In addition, the system would not only serve its intended purpose, but it would also indirectly serve as a crime deterrent.

For as a young boy in Oklahoma, I wept alongside my fellow Oklahomans on April 19, 1995 as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. was destroyed by the careless acts of two domestic terrorists. In the hunt for justice for those who lost their lives and who lost their loved ones, it was the Regency Towers Apartments’ lobby security cameras that would catch the infamous Ryder rental truck three days prior to the tragedy and just moments before its destructive fate. Thus, it was those surveillance cameras that played a crucial part in helping law enforcement with their successful investigation to capture and punish those responsible for those acts.

Now with this firsthand experience with domestic abuse carved into my memory, I urge our state, Oklahoma, to take a stand on ensuring its citizens’ well-being and leverage technological advances, non-invasively, to grant swift, deserved justice.

What The Boys & Girls Club Means To Me

On the night of the Bartlesville Boys and Girls Club’s Harley Party, I wanted to reminisce about my time at the Boys and Girls Club, and what the BGC meant and still means to me as an adult.

It was 1996, my hair was in a bowl cut, and the City of Bartlesville was on the eve of turning 100 years old in the upcoming year. This was the year that my father, Clyde, coached myself and a group of young boys to a perfect season in Flag Football at the Boys and Girls Club in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Back then I was coined the nickname, “Touchdown Tucker.” My biggest life worries were centered around if I was going to get a slushy drink after each game at Artunoff Field.

The Boys and Girls Club served then and continues now to serve as the center of the westside community in Bartlesville. Having grown up in the westside of Bartlesville with my family of six, its halls and playing fields became a staple during my elementary years. Back then the westside had two elementary schools, and you’d battle with other youth on which school was the best. Of course, I was representing the now dormant, Oak Park Elementary. However, the Boys and Girls Club provided comfort, sport, entertainment, and hope for many youth seeking an outlet in an economically impoverished area of the city. For me, it provided a neutral grounds for my father and I to get to know each other better. In addition, the club provided me with lifelong friends and it helped shape my character as a young man.

I was not the first Tucker to grow up in the Boys and Girls Club system, my father had grown up in the same halls and playing fields that I had. The club allowed my father, who at the time was working 13 hour shifts at Wonder Bread as a route driver, a breath of fresh air from the stresses of a mentally and physically taxing job. It allowed him to reminisce about the his days at the club and the lifelong friends that the club helped grant him. My father, a former Dewey High Bulldogger football player, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer his spare time to work with not only his son, but other young boys at the club. Through these many years of him coaching and me being his go to player, I got to learn about my dad’s heart for other people and his emphasis that race is irrelevant when judging someone. He taught me to judge one by their character and their actions, not by the color of their skin.

It was lessons like the ones my father taught me and the other elders at the BGC that helped mold me into a believer in equality for all and on the path to represent the voice of the people. These years at the BGC are cherished years and ones that I still reminisce often with former BGC teammates and family members. I owe a great deal to the BGC for helping me shift my narrow views on what I could become in life and turning me into an eternal optimist. Money was not the end all, it was the drive and ambition of one that mattered.

So, on the night of the BGC’s biggest fundraiser of the year, I still can remember back in 1996 at Artunoff Field in the BGC’s Flag Football Championship game. We had the ball on our own goal line, I was playing quarterback, and my dad called for a pass play. The other team, who were coached by an old high school rival of my dad, brought a blitz and as I scrambled in our own end zone in fear of sacrificing a crucial two points (Safety), I threw the ball as far as I could off of one foot in the corner of the end zone and launched a prayer to the football Gods. As I laid on the ground toppled by defenders, I could hear my mother screaming on the sideline for Derrick Saxton to keep running. The ball I threw landed half way down the field in the hands of fellow Oak Park Panther and dear friend, Derrick Saxton. I rose from the ground to see my father sprinting down the field to celebrate with Derrick in the end zone. We won that game, but it was the moment of pure jubilation that sent my father into a sprint after 13 hours of work that was so special to me. I would never see my father sprint like that again in my life.

Thank you Bartlesville Boys and Girls Club for providing me and the rest of the westside community in Bartlesville with moments like these and the new found ability to dream to be something not only bigger, but to become someone that helped others.

Tonight I will attend the Harley Party with my father, as the first college graduate in my family and a candidate for Oklahoma House District 10. By the way, the 1996 Flag Football trophy still claims a place on my father’s coffee table at his residence.

Announcing Bid For District 10

ANTHONY TUCKER ANNOUNCES BID FOR OKLAHOMA HOUSE DISTRICT 10 SEAT

I have imagined this day since I was a young boy growing up in Oklahoma House District 10 in Bartlesville. My imagination and dream to represent the people of Oklahoma was fueled even further during my time at my alma mater, Rogers State University. During this time I had the great privilege to learn from former Oklahoma Representative and current RSU President, Dr. Larry Rice. Not to mention, I passed the gold plaque dedicated to legendary Oklahoma politician, Stratton Taylor, on a daily basis and aspired to represent the people of Oklahoma just as Stratton did.

Today marks the beginning of a journey to bring the voice of the people of House District 10 back to the State Capitol. I believe that House District 10 embodies the Oklahoma spirit just as much, if not more than any other district in the state. House District 10 encompasses a large land mass in northeast Oklahoma and consists of some of the most resilient and dedicated individuals in the state.

From Ochelata and Ramona, where they are finding ways to partner with the Cherokee Nation and major corporations to bring jobs, road improvements, tourism, and tax dollars to the region. To Nowata County, where they are also partnering with Native American tribes to stimulate the economy and are also working with our state institutions to help build a more conducive business climate in their county. To Dewey, where their city’s rich heritage helps attract thousands each year as they come to the city to view its historic buildings and museums. Back to Bartlesville, where stakeholders are trying to devise and implement a plan to build an environment and culture that encourages young professionals to not only work in the City of Legends, but also to live there. Therefore helping the city and the region increase its tax revenue. In addition to helping encourage these young professionals to start a family in the region, and to help shape a new identity for the region for the next wave of inhabitants. House District 10 is full of economic growth opportunities and potential for so much more.

My goal is to run on the same principles that I was instilled with as a young child, to be true to yourself and to be true to others. I believe that my time serving in multiple leadership capacities that focused around creating jobs and cultivating growth strategies will serve as an asset for this district. It will be through a collective effort that the district can reach its full potential economically.

I want to represent the voice of the people and fight for their aspirations for this region. I want to limit legislation that inhibits one from reaching their potential and I want to support legislation that empowers Oklahomans to obtain their financial objectives. I also firmly believe that what is good for Tulsa and Oklahoma City is not always good for Washington, Osage, and Nowata counties. Therefore making sure that the district and its best interests are well protected at the State Capitol.

My candidacy for Oklahoma House of Representatives District 10 is the culmination of a lifelong desire to serve those that mean so much to me. I hope that you will join me in this campaign.

Would you like to request for Anthony to speak at your upcoming event? Visit our Scheduling page to fill out a formal request form.