Lawton police Sgt. John Chelenza said a group of teenagers walking home from school last week heard a voice calling for help from a manhole and called 911, KSWO-TV, Lawton, reported Monday.
Chelenza said the manhole cover was removed to reveal a man who seemed to have been stuck for some time.
"We see a gentleman down in the bottom of it and it seemed that he had been down there a couple of days," Chelenza said. "That's the first time in going on 28 years that we have found somebody down in a storm drain."
The man, who was 12 to 15 feet below street level, is believed to have climbed into a storm drain to chase a $20 he had dropped, police said. Chelenza said it is easy to become disoriented underground, with workers requiring maps to navigate and find exits, which can be several blocks apart.
"He had a bump on his head, he may have hit his head against a wall down there because it obviously pretty dark unless he is next to a storm drain where light could get into," Chelenza said.
Police officer-in-training Alicia Redding said the man seemed very disoriented.
"He did not remember what day it was. He wasn't sure how long he had been down there. He was pretty dehydrated and not really sure [of] the time [or] the date," Redding said.
The man was unable to locate his lost $20 bill, police said.