Police arrested the owner of a local strip club early Sunday morning after he allegedly fired shots from a handgun as officers investigated a call of an abandoned motorcycle.
Rick Andrew Childs Sr., 45, was booked into Garfield County Detention Facility on complaints of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and public intoxication. He was released on $2,500 bond.
Enid Police Department officers were dispatched at 4:05 a.m. Sunday to the 1400 block of North Garland in reference to a motorcycle lying in the roadway with its headlight on, according to police. The motorcycle checked back to Childs, owner of Wild Child’s Gentlemen’s Club, EPD Capt. Jack Morris said in a press release.
While officers were impounding the motorcycle, an officer walked east onto Pheasant Run Golf Course, Morris said, and other officers heard what sounded like a gunshot. Officers searched the scene for a possible victim, but did not find one.
A wrecker service arrived to tow the motorcycle. While waiting for the motorcycle to be removed, officers heard a second gunshot, Morris said. Officers searched along the golf course and heard a third shot from the northwest.
The third round went directly over the officers’ heads and sounded like a ricochet, according to reports. As officers retreated to their patrol vehicles for cover, they heard two additional shots.
Officers created a perimeter around where the shots were believed to have been fired, and the department’s SWAT team was called to the scene and conducted a field search of the golf course, Morris. The team located Childs lying in the grass about two hours after the initial call, Morris said.
When Childs was found, he was wearing a brown leather holster on his hip, but no gun was in the holster, Morris said.
Officers read Childs his Miranda rights, and Childs told officers he did not know what was going on. Childs was asked about the gun he had with him, and again Childs said he did not know what was going on or know where he was at, Morris said.
Officers noted in reports Childs appeared intoxicated, noting he was swaying back and forth, was lethargic, mumbled his speech and had small pupils. Childs was asked what medicine he was on, and he said he’d taken a 10 mg Ambien, a prescription sleep aid, before bed, but did not remember what time he went to bed, Morris said.
Officers searched the area and found two spent .45-caliber shell casings, a Springfield Armory XD 45 APC handgun and an XD .45-caliber magazine in the area where Childs was located, according to the report.
“The gun had appeared to have been concealed under some grass and wasn’t just lying on the ground, as if it fell to the ground,” Morris said.
Officers also found a gouge mark in the gravel golf cart path. The mark was near where the shell casings had been found and where the other officers had been standing on the fairway. The mark appeared to travel from east to west across the cart path, Morris said.
Later in the morning, detectives spoke with Childs’ wife. She said she and Childs had been in an argument about 2 a.m. that morning. She said about 3 a.m. she left the residence, and Childs also left, going north on his motorcycle. She said when he left, he was wearing his gun and his holster, Morris said.
She said the only gun missing from the house was Rick’s Springfield Armory XD 45 APC. She provided officers with the serial number for the gun, which matched that of the gun found on the golf course, Morris said.
“Paperwork is being forwarded to the district attorney’s office for review, to determine if additional charges will be filed against Mr. Childs,” Morris said.
Childs was charged in 2007 with felony and misdemeanor domestic abuse after attacking his wife and cousin when he discovered the two had become involved in a sexual relationship.
At the time, Childs told police he had opened the door and saw the two together, according to the report. He said he became upset and pushed his wife’s face with his right hand open. He said his cousin jumped up and took a swing at him and they began fighting.
Those charges were dropped when prosecutors were unable to serve subpoenas to a witness in the case.
Childs also was the intended target of a murder-for-hire plot in 2007. Andrew Harshman was charged with plotting to kill Childs because of a custody dispute involving his ex-wife and Childs. Harshman hired an undercover Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent to murder Childs. Harshman pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree solicitation of murder. In 2008, he received a five-year suspended sentence and was ordered to serve 60 weekends in jail.
In 2006, Childs ran for the position of Enid mayor but withdrew from the race prior to the election. Childs told the Enid News & Eagle in 2006 that he withdrew his name due to harassment of his employees by law enforcement.
“I’m withdrawing,” he said at the time. “I’ve got people that work for me that I’ve got to protect.”
In 2010, he filed for the position of Ward 1 city commissioner. He ran against current city commissioner Ron Janzen and businessman Rodney Olson. Janzen won with 498 votes, or 56 percent, with Olson taking 361 votes. Childs received 18 votes in the election.