MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

September 11, 2013

Man accused of leaving children

City man charged with neglect, public intoxication

A Muskogee man was charged Tuesday with child neglect and public intoxication after allegedly leaving children at a tire shop.

Elijah Mose Harjo, 31, was arrested Friday when Muskogee Police were called at about 7 p.m. to a tire shop on the 800 block of South 32nd Street.

A shop employee told police a 6-year-old girl and  5-year-old boy were found there unattended, according to an affidavit.

Harjo pulled up as officers were speaking with the children and said he was returning to get them. The affidavit states he smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and was “unsteady on feet.”

It’s not clear whether Harjo had been drinking before he left the children.

He allegedly told officers he had gotten into an argument near the tire shop and left with three of his five children, said Police Cpl. Michael Mahan. The children had been left for about 35 minutes, Mahan said.

The affidavit states Harjo told officers that he “miscounted the kids when he got into the truck.”

Upon arriving home Harjo discovered he was missing two and went searching for them.

The children were placed into custody with their uncle, who was driving Harjo around to search for the kids, according to police.

He was charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor public intoxication, according to Muskogee County court filings.

Harjo is being held in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility with bond set at $25,000.

He has a sounding docket scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 30, where he will get a date set for a preliminary hearing.

Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or tayers@muskogeephoenix.com.

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