By Cass Rains Staff Writer
An Enid man was arrested Tuesday morning on a complaint of solicitation of murder for attempting to hire an undercover officer to kill Rick Childs, according to Enid police.
Members of Enid Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Investigative Services Division and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs arrested Andrew Harshman, 24, when they learned he was actively soliciting the murder of Childs and was offering to pay for the potential murder.
Childs said he was awakened Tuesday by a call from police saying they had arrested Harshman.
“They informed me they had arrested Andrew Harshman for solicitation and had concerns for my safety if he was to make bond,” Childs said.
Childs said Harshman was an ex-boyfriend of his wife, whom Childs married Jan. 4, and may be the father of one of his wife’s children. Childs said incidents over custody occurred for several months, with increased frequency, and Childs and his soon-to-be-wife refused to allow Harshman to see the children shortly after Christmas.
Childs said he and wife then were served with an emergency order to re-lease custody of the children, ages 2 and 4, to Harsh-man. Childs said he and his wife never were notified of the hearing before Associate District Judge Tom Newby that awarded custody of the children to Harshman.
“Right now, my No. 1 concern is for those kids,” Childs said, saying they were both in the custody of Harshman’s mother. He said Harshman had been living with his mother.
“It shocked me he did try to do this, but you know, people can do anything,” Childs said.
He said a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 19 for he and wife to attempt to get back the two children. He said he has not been able to get the hearing date moved up.
EPD Sgt. Rick Tanner said in a press release the investigation began when police learned Harshman was actively soliciting the murder of Childs, who is a former candidate for mayor and owner of an adult entertainment establishment.
Officers were able to introduce an undercover officer to Harshman as a person who po-tentially would carry out a murder for hire, the release states.
The officer was able to obtain enough information from Harshman to establish the solicitation and “through technical investigative procedures, surveillance and outstanding undercover work by the OBN agent, officers were able to establish probable cause to arrest” Harshman Tuesday morning, Tanner said.
Tanner said the investigation is ongoing and documentation will be sent to Garfield County District Attorney’s Office for formal charges.