A Florida woman stalked NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and his family for more than a year because she was angry that he failed to give her an autograph, court documents say. Meanwhile, Russell remains in custody in Florida as she awaits extradition to Indiana.
Kathi Russell, 68, of Coral Gables, Fla., was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony counts of stalking, violating a protective order, terroristic mischief and intimidation, according to online IN court records. Russell is also accused of playing threatening audio clips and song clips during several of those calls, according to the complaint and WRTV's on-air and online stories. In one of the calls she allegedly played a soundbite of then- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying, "We Came, we saw, he died", in reference to former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, followed by "maniacal laughter".
Russell "admitted to the repeated harassment" of Stewart and his family, court documents said.
"Ms. Russell stated she repeatedly tried to get Mr. Stewart's attention and get him to sign an item of racing memorabilia, but Mr. Stewart ignored Ms. Russell's attempts and Ms. Russell states she felt like she was ignored", according to the affidavit.
Investigators believed the burned fan was responsible for an anonymous tip to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) the NASCAR star's plane was holding drugs that was later determined to be false. Stewart's mother obtained a protection order against her.
On Sept. 27, according to the WRTV reports, Russell allegedly sent an envelope containing a white powder to the Indianapolis office of Stewart's attorneys, Ice Miller LLP. The Ice Miller building was evacuated as a result. The woman used six different phone numbers and took "significant steps" to hide her identity, FOX59 reported.
The Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner's spokesperson told RTV6 that he wants to "let the legal process run its course" before commenting on the case. Sometimes he said she called in the early morning hours of race day, disrupting his sleep and causing additional anxiety.