South Jordan Police officer booked into Juab County Jail on multiple felony charges

Scott Russell. Photo: Juab County

JUAB COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 28, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An officer with the South Jordan Police Department was arrested Friday in Juab County on multiple felony charges.

Information from the Juab County Sheriff’s Office says a male family member agreed to take a ride with the suspect, Scott Elliot Russell, before a planned family dinner with the suspect.

Russell then refused the relative’s request to return to the residence, and subsequently rolled the vehicle, disabled the victim’s phone, and took his belongings, according to a report filed by the Juab County Sheriff’s Office.

Russell has been charged on suspicion of:

  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Burglary, a third-degree felony
  • Reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor
  • Criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interruption/interference of a communications device, a class B misdemeanor

The probable cause statement filed in the case says Juab officials became aware of the situation after being called by Provo Police Department officials who had interviewed the victim after he arrived at the Utah Valley Hospital emergency room. The man said the incident took place in Juab County.

Juab officials interviewed the man after he returned home.

“The victim claimed while attending a family dinner in┬áProvo the night before, they had made arrangements to go for a ride with (the suspect) before dinner. The victim and (suspect) proceeded to travel southbound on I-15. The victim became alarmed when their request, to be taken home, was denied.

“The suspect’s behavior became more irrational and paranoid, at one point, taking the victim’s phone and disabling it.”

The suspect continued to drive south on Interstate 15 and took Exit 202.

“The suspect subsequently rolled the vehicle, off an embankment at the river’s edge. Once both parties exited the vehicle, the victim was told to lay face down on the ground, and remove their shoes plus any personal belongings. The victim had knowledge the suspect did have a firearm in their possession, so complied with all directives.”

The two walked away from the disabled vehicle, and Russell allegedly discarded the victim’s wallet and personal belongings, the statement says.

“The suspect later removed their firearm from an ankle holster, along with the ammo and magazine, then tossed it over a fence in some sagebrush.”

The two continued to walk until they found an abandoned outbuilding to serve as shelter.

“At that point, the victim was told to stay at that location and the suspect walked away to another outbuilding. After a period of time passed, the victim felt safe enough to walk towards I-15 and attempt to get help.”

A motorist picked up the victim, who was later transported to the hospital by a family member, the statement says.

Investigators found the disabled vehicle, two sets of footprints, and the victim’s property. They also located a pair of black shoes, an ankle holster, .40 caliber ammo, and a Glock 27 firearm and magazine. A deputy later located the suspect at a structure.

Russell was read his Miranda Rights, and agreed to speak with law enforcement, the probable cause statement says.

“While speaking with the suspect, it was hard to follow their recollection of events. The suspect claimed he had been set up, and believed he was actively being watched by an unknown organization. The suspect did state they hadn’t taken the phone of the victim and removed the battery. The suspect also claimed ownership of the firearm, and claimed he’d discarded it due to a safety concern.”

Russell is being held without bail at the Juab County Jail. The South Jordan Police Department has placed him on administrative leave.

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