A Utah police officer is facing multiple felony charges in a bizarre Thanksgiving Day kidnapping.
Scott Elliott Russell, a master officer with the South Jordan Police, is being held in the Juab County Jail after he was arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, burglary, trespass and interruption of a communications device. He has been placed on administrative leave, according to local CBS affiliate 2KUTV.
Police were called to Utah Valley Hospital near Salt Lake City on Thursday to investigate a person who was seeking treatment for injuries they claimed to have received while they were kidnapped.
The alleged victim said they were at a family Thanksgiving celebration in nearby Provo, and had agreed to go for a ride with Russell, a family member, before dinner.
“The victim became alarmed when their request to be taken home was denied. [Russell’s] behavior became more irrational and paranoid, at one point, taking the victim’s phone and disabling it,” according to the arrest report cited by the news station.
Russell ended up rolling the vehicle off an embankment and ordered the victim to lie face down and remove their shoes. Russell then took the victim to a nearby building and left, reported an accident and left, the report says.
When questioned by police, Russell said he was “set up.”