Paul Tay, 58, was charged with first-degree rape, kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon
An eccentric candidate for Oklahoma governor is charged with kidnapping a campaign worker candidate, assaulting her with a metal pipe as she tried to escape, and raping her in his home, police said.
On Tuesday, Tulsa police said Paul Tay, 58, assaulted a woman twice on Sunday after she responded to his Craigslist ad for a job on his political team. He picked her up on the pretext of driving her to Oklahoma City for an interview.
The woman told police she was trying to escape from Tay’s car when she realized he was driving in the wrong direction. But Tay hit her in the pelvis with a metal pipe, Tulsa Police Lt. Darin Ehrenrich KOTV-DT.
“It’s terrifying — I can’t imagine what a victim would have to go through, number one, being brutally assaulted while trying to get out of a car,” Ehrenrich told the outlet.
“This is an absolutely heinous crime.”
The victim told police she was too scared to try to get away a second time when Tay’s car ran out of gas. She didn’t struggle, police said, when he allegedly locked her in his car near Beggs and took money from her.
Previously, Tay ran for mayor of Tulsa in 2002, 2006, 2009, 2016 and 2020. He has also campaigned multiple times for a position on the Tulsa City Council.
Tulsa World described Tay in 2015 as “a local political activist and citizen gadfly often seen in town, usually on a bicycle, dressed as Santa Claus, and occasionally in a dress and wig”
Once he filled the tank, police said in a press release, Tay took his victim to his home where he raped her.
Police said they arrested Tay in a Walmart parking lot after his victim persuaded him to take her to the store to buy hygiene products. She assaulted store employees who called the police.
“She’s very smart, she’s clearly a very intelligent person, she can think so fast” [and] to be able to convince [Tay] to give her some products she needed,’ Ehrenrich said.
Tay was sent to Tulsa County Jail, according to… KTUL, in lieu of $85,000 bail.
Police arrested Tay in a Walmart parking lot (pictured) after his victim, police said, convinced him to take her to the store. There she flagged store employees who called the police.
In addition to his efforts for a local office, he is known for biking through downtown Tulsa with sexually explicit signs, dragging a giant penis along a busy highway and crashing a 2016 mayoral debate on live television, the Washington Post said.
Tulsa World described Tay in 2015 as “a local political activist and citizen gadfly often seen in town, mostly on a bicycle, dressed as Santa Claus and occasionally in a dress and wig.”
In addition to his efforts for a local office, he is known for biking through downtown Tulsa with sexually explicit signs, dragging a giant penis along a busy highway and crashing a 2016 mayoral debate on live television, the newspaper wrote. Washington Post.
He announced earlier this year his intention to become independent for the governor of Oklahoma in 2022.
Tay ran for mayor of Tulsa in 2002, 2006, 2009, 2016 and 2020. Each time, he received less than 3 percent of the total votes cast, according to Ballotpedia and Tulsa World. He also campaigned several times for a position on the Tulsa City Council.
This isn’t Tay’s first run-in with the law.
In 2015, according to the Tulsa World, he was arrested after stealing bags of blankets and clothing intended for the homeless during the Route 66 Marathon event in Tulsa.
A city councilor filed a restraining order against him in 2019, the outlet reported, after he wrote the following in a Facebook post:
“If you don’t do EXACTLY what I tell you, I WILL do ANYTHING in 2020 to make you work for your damn job, you know? I always get my way, eventually. How would you like to spend some quality time with (your) baby in the NICU #Gloves Off.’
He spent nine months in prison last year for inciting a prostitute and is also accused of disturbing the peace and hindering officers, according to KOTV-DT.
But Tay’s political career could be suspended if he is convicted of first-degree rape, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping charges.
In Oklahoma, anyone who pleads guilty to a felony is ineligible for political office 15 years after being convicted, or until his conviction is appealed.