TULSA -- A Tulsa County Sheriff’s Deputy thinks quickly on her feet when a man wielding knives comes after her.
Deputy Catherine Curtin was on her way home Monday night when she was flagged down.
She recalled, “I was told there was a man with two large knives who was threatening people and he was outside of an apartment building.”
She quickly located the man and said, “I exited my patrol car and asked him to stop and drop the knives. At this point, I had him at gunpoint. He turned towards me and started walking towards me saying, ‘Shoot me, kill me,’ over and over.”
What only lasted a few seconds felt like an eternity. The whole encounter was filmed by a man in an apartment above.
She said, “At some point in this exchange with this man I made the decision – I’ll try my Taser.”
Curtin switched out her gun and shocked the man, saying, “He started to, what I felt, reach for one of the knives that was in front of him and I Tasered him again.”
The deputy can be heard on the video yelling at the man to stay down. Backup arrived and arrested 60-year-old Timothy Worsham for assault with a dangerous weapon and public intoxication.
In the booking report, Worsham told the arresting officer, “I just wanted her to shoot me, but she used her Taser. It’s just a failed suicide attempt.”
Curtin explained, “This is a person who is doing classic suicide-by-cop action.” But the deputy knew that wasn’t the route the situation needed to take.
She said, “The smallest bit of minutia could have instantly changed the outcome of the situation.”
And no matter how many times a deputy is faced with a life or death decision, Curtin says it doesn’t get any easier. “None of us ever want to be in this situation. None of us ever contemplate that we may be put in a situation where we’re having to take someone’s life. That was definitely the situation that presented itself.”
It was a situation that fortunately ended with everyone walking away.
Curtin said, “He asked me why I didn’t shoot him and I said, ‘Tomorrow is another day.’”