Tulsa man survives being stabbed through the head with a flagpole, police say

The Associated Press - August 5, 2023 8:06 am

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A man is expected to survive being stabbed through the head with a flagpole at a fast-food restaurant in Oklahoma, police said on Thursday.

The stabbing occurred on Wednesday evening at a Sonic in Tulsa and ended with the arrest of Clinton Collins, who was charged with felony maiming, the Tulsa Police Department said in a statement.

The police department statement did not identify the victim or provide an age for Collins.

“The pole entered the victim’s head beneath his jaw and exited the other side of his head near his right temple area,” police said. “The American Flag was still attached to the pole at the time.”

Firefighters with the Tulsa Fire Department had to cut part of the flagpole in order to fit the victim into an ambulance, police said.

“Miraculously, we’re told the victim will survive his injuries, but will likely lose an eye,” police said.

Witnesses told investigators that they saw Collins charge at the victim and stab him with the flagpole, according to the police statement.

Police said witnesses could hear Collins say: “That’s what he gets. He deserved it.”

Preston Stanley, a spokesperson for the police department, told The Associated Press in an email that police cannot provide information regarding whether Collins has hired an attorney.

The Tulsa County Clerk of Courts office said Collins is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and that his case either will be handled in tribal court or in U.S. District Court.

In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against defendants who are tribal citizens in a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma because it remains an American Indian reservation. That area includes most of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city.

However, last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Oklahoma can prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes committed on tribal land when the victim is Native American.

It was unclear on Thursday where the case against Collins would be headed.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation District Court said it did not have information on Collins, although it can take a few days for a case to arrive.

Records for criminal cases filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma did not list a case against Collins on Thursday afternoon.

FBI spokesperson Kayla McCleery in the agency’s Oklahoma City office declined to comment, stating that the FBI doesn’t comment on pending cases.


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