At a time when families traditionally gather to give thanks one South Jordan Police Officer is accused of taking more than just food and land. Scott Elliott Russell was arrested the day after Thanksgiving for assaulting and kidnapping a relative on Thanksgiving. He was booked into the Juab County Jail where he is still being held without bail.
Police responded to a complaint from a patient at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo on Thanksgiving. According to media reports, that patient claimed to have been kidnapped by their nephew, the police did not give the person’s gender or age, but did say the victim does not appear to be a minor. The victim told police that he or she had agreed to let Russell give them a ride to dinner at a family member’s home. At one point the person wanted to go home and Russell refused to take them back. Russell then purposefully drove his car off an embankment and onto a nearby stream. We do not know if the stream was frozen. Then they got out of the car and Russell told the victim to lay on the ground, remove their shoes, and give him their belongings. The victim said he or she knew Russell had a gun so he or she did as Russell asked. Russell then took the victim’s phone, removed the battery, tossed their wallet, removed the ammo from his gun before tossing it somewhere, and ordered the victim to walk with him until they could find shelter. They eventually found an abandoned building where Russell left the victim while he continued on. Once Russell was far enough away the victim walked to the freeway and flagged down a ride.
When Russell was interviewed following his arrest he told police that he had been setup and was actively being watched by unknown organizations. He said that he had taken the victim’s phone so that they could not be tracked and that he discarded his gun so that the people following him could see that he did not pose a threat. We are not sure if this is just an act by Russell setting up a possible insanity defense or if he is in fact crazy. He has yet to be formally charged, but is still being held in jail because the judge does not want him around other guns he is known to have.
According to media reports Officer Russell had been with the South Jordan Police Department since 2017. He spend a significant part of that time as a school resource officer.
We do not know what the Russell family was thinking hosting a Thanksgiving dinner during a pandemic, but we do know that the state of Utah relaxed social distancing guidelines ahead of Thanksgiving for the obvious purpose of encouraging families to gather normally (https://kutv.com/news/local/gov-herbert-dr-dunn-speak-about-covid-19-case-death-surge-ahead-of-thanksgiving).
Published at Sat, 28 Nov 2020 17:14:44 +0000