Florida woman charged with stalking 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, Indianapolis television station Fox 59 reported.

Court documents said the harassment 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.

The harassment lasted from March 2016 through October of this year, according to court documents.

Russell’s phone calls targeted Stewart, his mother and his sister, the station reported.

Stewart’s mother, Pam Boas, formerly of Columbus, obtained a protection order against Russell, the station reported.

Investigators said Russell made more than 300 phone calls from six different numbers directed at Stewart, his family, business or sponsors.