CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Man accused of stalking Gov. Cox, vandalizing campaign office

Nov 21, 2023, 7:32 AM | Updated: 7:35 am

Police tape is seen Nov. 6 after Gov. Spencer Cox's campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City was van...

Police tape is seen Nov. 6 after Gov. Spencer Cox's campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City was vandalized. An Illinois man has been criminally charged with vandalizing Gov. Spencer Cox's campaign headquarters. (@SpencerJCox via X)

(@SpencerJCox via X)

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors say they are concerned about an Illinois man’s increasingly erratic behavior, which includes allegedly vandalizing Gov. Spencer Cox’s campaign headquarters.

Samuel Golster Zun, 26, of Highland Park, Illinois, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with causing property damage, a third-degree felony; and stalking, a class A misdemeanor.

On Oct. 8, at 12:15 a.m., law enforcers received reports that Zun was yelling outside the Governor’s Mansion.

“This caused alarm for the first family. Several troopers responded and contacted Zun who expressed his grievances about Work Force Services and wanted to talk to the governor about it. Troopers were able to diffuse the situation and sent Zun on his way,” according to charging documents.

Then on Nov. 4, Zun went to the Utah Capitol several times “and appeared upset about not being able to get a driver’s license, and commented (about) being done with Utah. Zun made comments about giving up his U.S. citizenship because he could not get into the military,” the charges state.

The next night, troopers again came into contact with Zun at the Capitol who this time claimed he “wanted to be arrested so he could be off the streets,” according to the charges. Troopers referred Zun to the homeless shelter.

About 90 minutes later, Zun was spotted on security cameras at the Capitol building where he “climbed the staircase, jumped the railing into a restricted area, and traversed a ledge that leads to various offices, including Gov. Cox’s office,” the charges state.

When troopers found him, Zun was trying to open a locked door and pounding on windows.

“When asked if he broke any windows, Zun stated he had not at the Capitol but he had broken the glass out of Gov. Cox’s election office in Salt Lake County. Zun said he had also thrown rocks at the Governor’s Mansion in Salt Lake County that evening,” charging documents state.

Damage to the campaign office was estimated at nearly $3,200. No damage was found at the Governor’s Mansion.

Salt Lake City police responded and took custody of Zun, and took him to a local hospital to be involuntarily committed for a psychiatric evaluation.

On Nov. 6, however, Zun contacted West Valley police, stating “he needed to be placed into handcuffs otherwise he would commit a serious crime.”

According to prosecutors, who have requested Zun be held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail pending trial, his violent behavior has been escalating.

“In addition to the incidents charged herein, officers received a report from a military recruiter in Illinois that (Zun) was overly interested in ‘killing enemies’ and discussed getting into fights online with ‘Utah senators.’ (His) family has also reported (Zun’s) mental health is declining and has requested the police intervene with hospitalization,” charging documents state.

Related: Suspect in custody after vandalizing Gov. Cox campaign headquarters

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Man accused of stalking Gov. Cox, vandalizing campaign office