SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 11, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Utah man clocked at 130 mph while traveling on Interstate 80 early Wednesday morning added threat of terrorism charges to those of speeding and DUI when he told arresting officers he was on his way to Missouri to kill former U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Cottonwood Heights resident George William Stahl, 36, has been jailed without bail on suspicion of:
- Failure to stop or respond at command of police, a third-degree felony
- Threat of terrorism, a third-degree felony
- Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor
- DUI — alcohol/drugs or combination, a class B misdemeanor
- Possession or use of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor
- Speeding, an infraction
A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office says Stahl was observed passing the officer, who was stationary, at 12:46 a.m. Wednesday. The location was near milepost 145 on eastbound I-80.
Stahl was traveling “at a very high rate of speed,” the officer’s statement says. “My visual estimation on the vehicle was well over 100 mph. My Stalker front stationary away radar showed the vehicle was traveling at 115 mph.”
The officer activated his emergency lights, he said, and “the vehicle appeared to accelerate faster and pull away from me. I caught up to the vehicle who was still traveling over 100 mph and the vehicle accelerated again and pulled away.
“I initiated a pursuit with my emergency lights and sirens. Speeds reached 130 mph and the vehicle continued at a high rate of speed on Interstate 80 eastbound passing other motorists and having a willful and wanton disregard for people and property.”
Weather conditions, with a light snow on the roadway, added to the danger and slickness, the officer noted.
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper “successfully spiked the vehicle’s tires and a male was taken into custody,” the SCSO officer’s statement says.
“He (the driver) was identified as George William Stahl, DOB 11-16-1983 by Utah license. Stahl was belligerent and appeared heavily intoxicated. He smelled of an alcoholic beverage and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. There was an empty 12 pack of Budweiser beer in his vehicle as well as a partially consumed other 12 pack.
“Stahl stated that he was on Adderall and LSD and beer. Because of his behavior and appearance, he was transported to the North Summit Fire station for a medical evaluation.”
Stahl “continued to be belligerent, but was cleared by medical personnel,” the probable cause statement says. “On his way to the fire station and the Summit County jail, he made several real threats to former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill. He stated that he was on his way to Missouri to kill her if she wasn’t dead already.”
The statement did not note any reason Stahl may have given for threatening the former senator, who is a vocal critic of Pres. Donald Trump.
Stahl also stated that he hit the spikes going 135 mph, the probable cause statement says. An unknown chemical substance was located in Stahl’s vehicle.
“It will be sent to the crime lab to be tested. Due to Stahl’s statements, it is suspected to be LSD.”
Stahl is being held without bail in part due to the severity of the charges and to the fact he could be a flight risk.