Utah cop arrested for kidnapping in Thanksgiving incident was ‘watched by an unknown organization’

JUAB COUNTY, Utah (KSTU) — An officer with South Jordan Police was arrested after a strange series of events on Thanksgiving, including an alleged kidnapping, that he attributed to “being watched by an unknown organization.”

An unidentified individual told police they went on a drive with off-duty Master Officer Scott Russell before a family dinner in Provo, and while driving Russell reportedly became “irrational and paranoid” and denied the victim’s request to be taken home. He exited the freeway at southbound exit 202 in Juab County, then rolled the vehicle down a river embankment. He also took their phone and disabled it, the victim told police.

After the crash, Russell told the victim to lie on the ground, take off their shoes and remove any personal belongings, according to court documents. Russell then reportedly discarded the victim’s things, as well as his own gun that he had on an ankle holster.

They both then walked to an abandoned outbuilding, where Russell told the victim to stay while he walked to another outbuilding, according to the report.

Russell was arrested on Friday and reportedly “claimed he had been set up, and believed he was actively being watched by an unknown organization.” He told police he had discarded his gun because he wanted those who he said were watching him to see that he didn’t pose a threat.

Russell was arrested on felony charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and burglary, as well as misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing, reckless endangerment and interruption/interference of a communications device.