Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Librarians back on job after attack

Norman Transcript | Librarians back on job after attack

Gary Kramer, public information officer for the Norman Public Library, said he's "overwhelmed by the heroism" exhibited by staff members last Friday, protecting customers while trying to calm a man who had became extremely agitated and violent.

John Dedrick, 37, Norman, was charged Monday in Cleveland County District Court with two felony counts of sexual battery; one felony count of indecent exposure; six misdemeanor counts of assault and battery; and one misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia.

Kramer said the librarians on duty at the time -- eight women and two men -- "put themselves in harm's way" to keep library customers from being injured.

The library, designated as a cool zone for anyone seeking relief from the heat, was "full of folks" Friday afternoon as temperatures reached 107 degrees, Kramer said.

Dedrick, over 6 feet tall and weighing more than 220 pounds, was in obvious distress from the moment he walked in, Kramer said.

"He was walking in circles, talking to himself and had his pants unzipped -- pretty good clues something was wrong," Kramer said.

Staff members reacted immediately. Police dispatchers received three 911 calls reporting a disturbance at the library, 225 N. Webster Ave.

"He was frothing at the mouth and really in distress. One of our staff offered him a glass of water, trying to calm him down," Kramer said.

The librarians formed a "human corral" while trying to move Dedrick from the library's public space to the office space. But Dedrick "leaped over the checkout desk" and went to the circulation department, Kramer said...

See Okiedoke's take on the tale here

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