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'Super' Dell Schanze arrested for paragliding incident

Published June 14, 2011 10:38 am

Law • "Super" Dell paraglided from prohibited monument.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former computer pitchman and Republican gubernatorial candidate "Super" Dell Schanze is in trouble, again, with the law.

The 41-year-old Saratoga Springs resident was arrested Monday afternoon in Oregon and booked into the Clatsop County Jail for paragliding off the 125-foot high Astoria Column, a historical city structure, police said.

He was booked on suspicion of "prohibited conduct at the Astoria Column," Astoria police Sgt. Brad Johnson said. The charge is an unclassified misdemeanor. Schanze's bail was set at $10,000.

The paragliding incident, which was recently posted on YouTube by Schanze and some friends, shows him pulling a paraglider from a backpack on Saturday evening, mounting the column's railing and sailing off. He landed uninjured in a grassy area below.

Johnson said Schanze left the area before officers arrived.

On Monday at about 1 p.m., a citizen told police that Schanze was on the beach in Clatsop County near the Peter Iredale, a steel ship that ran ashore near Clatsop Spit more than 100 years ago.

The sheriff's office responded and arrested Schanze without incident, Johnson said. When he was arrested Schanze was paragliding with several other people on the beach. He may have been teaching a paragliding class, Johnson said.

Johnson said the Astoria Column is a "very important local monument," that has been restored and maintained for years.

"We really are not going to have any tolerance for people who use [the column] inappropriately, he said.

In 1998, the Astoria City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the descent from, scaling, or ascension of the exterior of the column, Johnson said. It also prohibits climbing over the railing of the viewing platform, attaching rope to the column or throwing unapproved objects off the column. The ordinance was enacted after a group of individuals rappelled from the column's viewing platform the same year.

It is appropriate, however, to purchase commemorative balsawood gliders from the column's gift shop and throw them off the column, Johnson said.

Schanze has had several run-ins with the law in Utah.

He was found guilty in June 2010 of class B misdemeanor reckless driving and three seat belt violations for an incident in Saratoga Springs in which he was driving erratically with several of his children in the car.

In August 2006, Schanze was found guilty of a class B misdemeanor in 3rd District Court for making false statements to a Draper police officer.

Also in 2006, Schanze pleaded no contest to a class B misdemeanor charge of public nuisance in Draper's justice court for buzzing Interstate 15 in a paraglider.

jbergreen@sltrib.com