This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
His voice breaking at times, former TV pitchman "Super Dell" Schanze passionately told a federal judge Tuesday that he is a hero in his restrained use of guns to defend himself during several incidents over the years, and he doesn't deserve to be "terrorized" by law officers and the "evil media."
And the current federal charges of harassing wildlife while flying a paraglider was manufactured by an "anti-Christ homosexual who hates me," Schanze told U.S. District Judge Dee Benson.
Nevertheless, Benson declined to reverse a decision that ordered Schanze to rid his home of weapons while he awaits trial on the two misdemeanors brought about by a YouTube video allegedly showing the former owner of the defunct Totally Awesome Computers chasing an owl while riding a motorized paraglider near Utah Lake.
Schanze, 45, of American Fork, was before Benson to appeal a magistrate's decision that ordered Schanze to remove all dangerous weapons from his house until the resolution of his case. Schanze has pleaded not guilty and a one-day trial is set for April 20.
Federal prosecutors had asked Benson to maintain the weapons ban, citing eight cases in which Schanze was ticketed or arrested for alleged offenses that included traffic violations, illegally carrying a concealed weapon and threatening the use of a firearm during a fight.
Schanze was dressed all in black for the Tuesday hearing and wore his sunglasses in the courtroom until he asked to address Benson after the judge ruled in favor of prosecutors on the weapons issue.
Schanze said the earlier weapons-related charges in which he may have pulled out a gun actually were incidents in which he was protecting himself and family members and doing so prudently so no violence occurred.
"The record is awesome," Schanze said. "This is a history of being a hero in the community."
In one 2005 incident in Draper, Schanze was arrested for allegedly brandishing a weapon after he was confronted by three residents who chased after his car when they saw him speeding up to 75 mph through a neighborhood. But he was only found guilty of making false statements to a police officer.
Schanze said he had shown restraint during the incident, which he describes as "three road-ragers who attacked me while I was holding the hand of my daughter," and that his behavior while carrying a weapon is used as an example of proper behavior in concealed weapons permit classes.
"I legally could have shot them," Schanze said, who became emotional as he described how he was protecting his daughter from the "road-ragers," and how he was falsely prosecuted.
The current case against him is based on a video made by an "anti-Christ homosexual" and then picked up by the news media, who had destroyed his once booming computer business with lies, Schanze said.
He cited his military service and his Christian faith that takes him to church every Sunday that he is able to attend.
"I don't think anyone in this courtroom has ever been as exemplary like I am," Schanze said.
Benson expressed some sympathy for Schanze and complemented him on his speaking ability, but said he wasn't going to reverse his decision made earlier in the hearing that the removal of weapons from Schanze's home was the least restrictive measure he can order while protecting the safety of pretrial officers who sometimes enter the homes of those charged with crimes.
"I'm not finding that you're a danger or a bad guy," Benson said. "What I'm ordering is very common."
Benson earlier in the hearing had struck down a requirement that Schanze undergo a mental health evaluation before trial. But after Schanze's lengthy explanation of his prior charges and his diatribe against law officers, the courts and the news media, Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Fojtik asked Benson to reverse that ruling.
The judge declined to do so with a simple "no."