Florida woman charged with stalking Columbus native Tony Stewart

INDIANAPOLIS — A Florida woman stalked and left threatening messages for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and his family for more than a year, angry that he failed to give her an autograph at a race, according to criminal charges filed last week.

Kathi Russell, 68, of Cape Coral, Florida, was taken into custody Tuesday on felony charges of stalking, terroristic mischief and intimidation for an alleged campaign of harassment against Stewart, who lives in Columbus, that lasted from March 2016 through October of this year, television station Fox 59 reported in Indianapolis.

Court documents said the harassment campaign by Russell included hundreds of phone calls to Stewart and his family. Investigators believe Russell was behind a phone-call tip to the DEA that claimed Stewart’s plane was carrying drugs, which resulted in a search of the aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas, Fox 59 reported.

Read more in Thursday’s print edition of The Republic.