Thursday, August 10, 2006

Superdell Gets Probation & Fine

From KUTV:

Dell Schanze Gets Probation For Lying To Police

(KUTV / AP) WEST JORDAN Former computer store owner Dell Schanze gets one year of probation -- for lying to police officers last year about a confrontation with angry residents in Draper. He must also attend a class for "thinking errors."

The sentence was handed down on Wednesday by Judge Royal Hansen, who also ordered that Schanze pay a $552 fine and attend a course that teaches people how to make appropriate decisions.

Schanze would have to pay roughly $2,400 in fines and face 180 days in jail if he breaks probation.

Schanze was accused of speeding through a Draper neighborhood on May 21, 2005. Prosecutors say when he was confronted by angry residents, Schanze brandished a handgun.

Schanze, a concealed carry permit holder, says he never brandished his gun. Instead, he accused the angry residents of threatening him. Schanze's young daughter was with him during the confrontation.

He was charged with brandishing a weapon in a fight, giving false statements to police and reckless driving. At a later trial, Schanze was found 'not guilty.'

However, a jury convicted Schanze of lying to police about the confrontation. The reckless driving charge was reduced to class C misdemeanor speeding at the start of the trial when Schanze admitted driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Schanze is known for wacky commercials promoting his former company, Totally Awesome Computers.

From Salt Lake Tribune:

'Super Dell' fined for speeding, lying to police

By Stephen Hunt
Salt Lake Tribune

WEST JORDAN - For speeding through a Draper neighborhood last year, and then lying to police in connection with an alleged gun brandishing incident, an unrepentant "Super Dell" Schanze was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months probation and fined $522.

Third District Judge Royal Hansen also ordered Schanze, 36, to provide proof he had completed a class designed to correct "thinking errors."

Defense attorney Michael Bassett claimed Schanze had already completed a so-called "cognitive restructuring" class as part of his recent sentencing for buzzing Interstate 15 near Draper in his paraglider in May. The judge said he wanted to see the Draper court paperwork.

Prosecutor Christopher Bown had asked the judge to send Schanze to jail for two days because of his "attitude problems."

Schanze, Bown said, "doesn't feel he is subject to the same rules as the rest of us." He said Schanze had used the media to "mock" the justice system and the jury, which in May acquitted him of a class A misdemeanor gun brandishing charge.

Bown claimed Schanze committed several thinking errors during the brandishing episode, including inappropriate interaction with police officers.

"When talking to the police, you either invoked your rights [against self-incrimination] or you tell the truth," Bown said.

Schanze allegedly pulled a 10mm Glock from his pocket after three angry residents confronted him about speeding through their neighborhood on May 21, 2005.

Later, when writing a statement for police, Schanze claimed he pulled a cell phone from his pocket, but omitted any mention of a gun. The jury convicted him of writing a false statement, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

Prior to the start of the trial, Schanze pleaded guilty to speeding 50 mph in a 25-mph zone, a class C misdemeanor.

On Wednesday, Judge Hansen suspended the potential jail term on the false statement conviction.

But Hansen warned that "180 days are waiting, if you don't follow through" with the probation requirements, which include no new violations of the law.

After the hearing, Schanze remained adamant that he never lied to police.

He said his failure to mention the gun in the police report was "irrelevant" because he had the legal right to possess and use the weapon to protect himself and his 8-year-old daughter.
According to trial testimony, one of the residents picked up a rock and threatened to break the tail lights on Schanze's black Jaguar.

After Wednesday's sentencing, Schanze said the judge had opted to be "politically correct," rather than "standing up and saying, 'This is bullcrap.' "

Schanze called the prosecutor "a loser" for charging him with crimes he didn't commit.
"Maybe I'll get killed and be charged with illegal bleeding," Schanze quipped.

Schanze insisted that by having a gun - which he claims he held behind his back and never pointed - he prevented anyone being injured that day. Without the gun, he said, there would have been a fight and, because he is has black belt in karate, "two guys would have been killed."
"Of course I had a gun that day," he added. "All responsible citizens should carry a gun" to avoid becoming crime victims.

Schanze also delivered his usual rant against the news media, claiming biased reports about the gun brandishing incident destroyed his multimillion-dollar Totally Awesome computer business.
Asked what he had learned from the court experience, Schanze replied: "I've learned the extent of how evil you [reporters] are."

From Deseret News:

Schanze gets a fine, probation

'Super Dell' ordered to stay on good behavior for a year
By Linda Thomson
Deseret Morning News

WEST JORDAN — A judge has sentenced Dell Buck Schanze, the former computer mogul of "Super Dell" TV commercial fame, to pay a fine and stay on good behavior on probation for 12 months for misdemeanor counts of speeding and making a false written statement to police.

Third District Judge Royal Hansen on Wednesday suspended a 180-day jail sentence, imposed a $285 fine, charged $207 for the speeding citation and ordered Schanze to take a "cognitive restructuring course," which assists people in learning how to detect errors in their thinking.

Defense attorney Michael Bassett said Schanze already had taken that course at Sandy Counseling after being directed to by Sandy Municipal Court in connection with a separate misdemeanor paraglider incident. Hansen said if he receives paperwork indicating the course has been completed, he'll consider that as possibly satisfying the requirements of his sentence.

A smiling, denim-clad Schanze spoke at length in rapid-fire fashion telling the judge a class regarding "thinking errors" was unnecessary and could give a bad impression via the media.

"Why in the world would you want to change the thinking of a self-made millionaire who's lectured at almost every college in the state?" he asked. "Yes, I'm exuberant and outgoing and a positive thinker. I'm extremely mentally stable, and I'm not one who would be a danger to society."

"I appreciate your input, Mr. Schanze," the judge said, adding that Schanze has the right to appeal if he chooses.

Prosecutor Chris Bown said he does not think Schanze is a bad person but said he is dangerous because he thinks the rules that apply to others do not apply to him. Bown said Schanze has shown no remorse in this case and twice has paraglided into situations in Draper that caused problems — once when police were trying to deal with a suicidal man armed with a gun and once when firefighters were fighting a blaze and Schanze tried to get the heat updraft for his aircraft.

Outside the courtroom, Schanze denounced the prosecutor as "a loser," said the judge was trying to be politically correct, and stated news reporters — who are "swayed by Satan" — were spreading lies that destroyed his computer business and poisoned the jury against him. He called on reporters to repent and said he'd work with anyone who wanted guidance.

"If I was a really bad guy, would any of these news reporters be alive?" Schanze asked. "Ask yourself that question. You know you all have the ability to repent because of the grace of God, but you are still alive to do it, because of the grace of Super Dell."

He said he was sorry for speeding but insisted he did not mislead the police.

A jury in May acquitted Schanze, 36, of threatening or using a dangerous weapon, a class A misdemeanor, in connection with an incident in which some angry Draper residents followed him from their neighborhood, where they said he had been speeding, to a hang-gliding park.

They berated Schanze and one picked up a rock and threatened to break the tail lights of Schanze's Jaguar. Schanze, who had his 8-year-old daughter with him, said he took out a gun for which he has a concealed weapons permit and held it behind his leg for protection, then put it away.

However, the jury was not convinced Schanze told the truth in a report to police and convicted him of the class B misdemeanor written false statement charge. Schanze pleaded guilty to speeding charge before the trial started.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Superdell Pleads No Contest; Fan Pays Fine

From KSL:

Schanze Pleads No Contest
Richard Piatt Reporting

It was another interesting day in court for Super Dell Schanze today. After he pleaded no contest to a public nuisance charge, a total stranger agreed to pay his $300 fine for him.

It came out of the blue: A woman takes Super Dell's side, writes a 300-dollar check, and in response, he kisses her foot.

It was gratitude for a total stranger. But, Dell Schanze and Leslye Arrowsmith weren't strangers long.

"Thank you very much. I'm proud of you for standing up for what you believe in. Thank you. We love you. Thank you, I love you too."

Especially after she paid Schanze's 300-dollar fine for him.

Leslye Arrowsmith/ Paid Super Dell's Fee: "Today, I would pay Dell's 300 dollar fine. I don't care. That's how much I believe in Dell Schanze."

Prior to all that, Schanze pleaded 'no contest' to a public nuisance charge, tied to an early-morning para-gliding excursion a few weeks ago.

It was tape you saw only on Eyewitness News ---later a photograph confirmed it was Schanze. Draper police and the FAA both investigated, because of the dangerous distraction they say he was causing for commuters on I-15.

In addition to the fine, Schanze also agreed to probation for a year, in exchange for the city dropping a disorderly conduct charge.

Afterword, and in spite of the plea, Schanze insisted he was not guilty.

Dell Schanze/ Plead 'No Contest': "I'm the one, if I'm guilty I'll plead guilty. If I'm not guilty, I'll fight it. And sometimes, I'll plead no contest if I can get out of it and stop wasting everyone's time for another year over something that's really silly."

Dell Schanze: "I just think people need to back off, and report the news. Report what's really going on out there."

Even though these two started a friendship over how 'silly' they say the case is, the FAA and Draper Police are not laughing. They're serious about what they call an airspace violation.

Schanze also agrees to show up at a counseling session in the next few weeks. But everyone in court took great pains to point out that it is not a mental health evaluation.

From ABC4:

Super Dell Schanze's fan pays fine for ultralight aircraft violation

Super Dell Schanze appeared in court Tuesday over his latest escapade, flying his ultralight aircraft close too the I-15 freeway, but even the owner of now-defunct "Totally Awesome Computers" did not expect the incident to end as it did. Schanze did his usual big talking outside the courthouse, proclaiming his innocence and stating, "We can't have government institutions acting like morons."But inside, he quietly pleaded no contest to creating a public nuisance by distracting motorists, a Class B Misdemeanor. He was fined $300.That's where things took a turn for the unexpected. A female Schanze fan offered to pay his fine. Outside the courtroom, Leslye Arrowsmith, who had never met Schanze, said she would pay the fine because "I believe in Dell Schanze."Schanze replied that if she did, he would kiss her feet. Arrowsmith went into the cashier's office and wrote out a check for the full amount of the fine. And Schanze kept his word, sort of. He knelt down and kissed Arrowsmith's shoes, saying that he thought it was phenomenal what Arrowsmith did for him. As a thank you, Schanze offered Mrs. Arrowsmith a flight in his ultralight craft. No word yet on where or when that flight will take place, but one sure bet is that it probably will not be near a heavily traveled highway.
Story by: Robert Walz

From Salt Lake Tribune:

Super Dell gets fined for paraglider buzzing
By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune

Paragliding enthusiast "Super" Dell Schanze - charged with disrupting traffic by buzzing Interstate 15 last month - was sentenced Tuesday to probation, counseling and a fine.

Schanze pleaded no contest in Draper City's justice court to a class B misdemeanor count of public nuisance.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed a count of disorderly conduct, an infraction.

The public-nuisance conviction carried a potential six-month jail term, but Judge Daniel Bertch suspended the jail time in favor of a $300 fine and one year of probation.

A Schanze supporter paid the fine on the spot.

"I was grateful, and I kissed her feet in front of all the cameras," Schanze later told The Salt Lake Tribune during a phone interview. "I told her I'd be happy to take her paragliding."

On May 24, Draper police responded to reports of a motorized paraglider flying over I-15 at about the height of a two-story building. Police received reports that Schanze was the pilot and that he was flying low enough that witnesses feared he might crash. Utah Highway Patrol troopers said drivers were watching the paraglider rather than the road.

Schanze said Tuesday he was flying over an empty field for the majority of his flight but acknowledged crossing the freeway - legally, he claims - at about 500 feet.

Schanze said the FAA did not intend to file charges. But Draper City Prosecutor Melanie Serassio said she understood the FAA was waiting for the criminal case to conclude before proceeding with potential civil sanctions. Calls from The Tribune to the FAA in Seattle were not returned.

As a condition of his probation, Schanze must undergo an evaluation at a counseling agency and complete whatever treatment is recommended, Serassio said.

But Schanze's attorney, Michael Bassett, said the counseling agency will simply act "as a facilitator to make sure my client follows the law."

Schanze claimed he is being singled out by Draper police, who last year arrested him for allegedly brandishing a gun at several residents angry that Schanze was speeding through their neighborhood.

"Have they ever charged a paraglider with a crime in the history of time?" he asked. "But there is no law against what I did. They had to make something up, pull something out of their butt crack."

Despite his recent legal trouble and the dissolution of his computer-store empire, which he blames on the news media, Schanze said, "My heart is still full of love. I'm not bitter or angry about all these injuries. That's why so many people love Super Dell."

From KUTV:

Super Dell Kisses Woman’s Feet For Paying His Fine

(KUTV) The Draper City case against Dell Schanze and his motorized paraglider is over. True to his nature there is another bizarre ending.We all know with Dell Schanze you never quite sure what you're going to get. Well, this afternoon, a big fan of Schanze showed up at the court hearing and offered to pay his fine. That's when the bizarre twist started. Another chapter in the Dell Schanze saga develops as he emerges from the Draper City justice center. This case involved his motorized paragliding episode where he is accused of flying to low and charged as a public nuisance and with disorderly conduct. But Draper City and Schanze have come to what they call a peaceful resolution. Schanze pleaded no contest to the nuisance charge and is fined 300 dollars. The city drops the disorderly conduct charge. "I pleaded no contest which means I'm not guilty I'm definitely not guilty but okay I'll take the plea bargain," Schanze said. As Schanze is explaining his case Leslye Arrowsmith suddenly steps into the picture. Leslye says she's never met Dell and feels like the media has destroyed his life and career. "We don't need to ruin Dell Schanze," she said. So she offers to pay his 300 dollar fine.Schanze says more than thank you. "If you pay it I will kiss your feet you got okay I'm going to kiss her feet. Thank you I love you," Schanze said. Dell and Leslye then go into the courthouse to make the payment. "You are so welcome best 300 dollars I've ever spent," said Arrowsmith. "Thank you very much for standing up for what you believe in that's awesome," Schanze said. Schanze has been placed on probation for one year...and he also has to undergo an evaluation by a counselor. As to what kind of evaluation that is Schanze is not saying but he says it's not a mental evaluation.

From the Daily Herald:

Schanze fined, ordered to undergo counseling
The Associated Press

DRAPER -- "Super" Dell Schanze has been fined $300 and ordered to undergo counseling for flying low close to Interstate 15.

Outside of court, Schanze kissed the feet of a woman who paid his fine.

Schanze, 36, pleaded no contest Tuesday in Draper's justice court to a class B misdemeanor count of committing a public nuisance.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed a count of disorderly conduct, which is an infraction.

Judge Daniel Bertch also put Schanze on one year of probation.

Once Schanze obtains an evaluation, he must complete whatever treatment is recommended, Draper prosecutor Melanie Serassio said.

The paragliding incident happened on May 24, when police received reports that a man was gliding so low that witnesses feared he might crash.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers said drivers were watching the aircraft instead of the road.
Serassio declined to discuss the factual basis for Schanze's plea.

"I have a gentleman's agreement with him not to get into details, as long as he does so as well," she said. "He can talk to media, but he needs to be respectful about it."

Outside the courthouse, Schanze proclaimed his innocence and said, "We can't have government institutions acting like morons."

Regarding his plea, he said, "I'm the one if I'm guilty, I'll plead guilty. If I'm not guilty, I'll fight it. And sometimes, I'll plead no contest if I can get out of it and stop wasting everyone's time for another year over something that's really silly."

His fine was paid by Leslye Arrowsmith, who said she had not met Schanze before.
"Today, I would pay Dell's $300 fine. I don't care. That's how much I believe in Dell Schanze," she said.

Arrowsmith said she feels the media have destroyed Schanze's life and career.
"We don't need to ruin Dell Schanze," she said.

Schanze said if she paid his fine, he would kiss her feet.

Arrowsmith went into the cashier's office and wrote out a check for the full amount of the fine.
Schanze knelt down and kissed Arrowsmith's shoes, saying that he thought it was phenomenal what Arrowsmith did for him.

"You are so welcome -- best $300 I've ever spent," Arrowsmith said.

"Thank you very much for standing up for what you believe in. That's awesome," Schanze said.
Schanze is the former owner of Totally Awesome Computers and is known for his over-the-top personal style and shrill, hyperactive TV commercials.

He is to be sentenced June 28 in 3rd District Court for lying to police after allegedly brandishing a gun at several Draper residents who confronted him about speeding through their neighborhood in May 2005.

A jury convicted him of making a false written statement, but acquitted him of brandishing a gun during a quarrel.

He pleaded guilty to driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D3

Saturday, June 03, 2006

KUTV Viewers' Reactions to Superdell

From KUTV:

In Rod We Trust: Super Dell Schanze

(KUTV) “Super” Dell Schanze is back in trouble and back in the news, and viewers don't like it. Some viewers blame the media for Dell's troubles. Some are just tired of seeing the fast-talking former computer salesman on television.

2News reporter Rod Decker has a look at viewers' reaction to the latest stories on Schanze.

“You cost me my business, scumbag,” Super Dell told one reporter.

Two weeks ago when Super Dell was in trouble for speeding and lying to police, he blamed media scumbags for the bankruptcy of his Totally Awesome computer business. Now, he's back in trouble, this time for allegedly flying too low too close to a Draper freeway in his ultralight aircraft.

“These are ridiculous charges,” Super Dell told 2News.

Rex, a viewer, agrees. He says, "You seem to be trying to convict Dell Schanze in the court of public opinion again after you already forced the public against his business, causing its demise."

Most of those who emailed us about Super Dell said they're tired of seeing him on T.V., and they don't think 2News should do any more stories about him.

"All you’re doing is giving him free airtime" said Bruce.

Jackie says, "Leave him alone, he'll go away, he's clever, and maybe bi-polar."

“They called Leonardo da Vinci crazy, and Ben Franklin,” says Schanze.

Super Dell says his light aircraft may revolutionize your commute.

“People should be glad. This is new technology you can take it to work, avoid all the traffic. It's exciting,” he says.

Super Dell tells us lying media scumbags to leave him alone, and at least some viewers agree we shouldn't put him on the news anymore. Rod Decker says 2News will probably continue to cover Super Dell Schanze, as long as he keeps making news.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Superdell Charged over Glider Incident

From KUTV:

'Super' Dell Schanze Facing New Charges In Draper

(KUTV) DRAPER Charges have been filed against Dell Schanze after he allegedly flew his powered paraglider too close to the freeway.

The charges stem from an incident that happened last week in Draper. Witnesses reported seeing "Super'' Dell Schanze flying a paraglider near Interstate 15 Wednesday, resulting in a number of citizen complaints that were investigated by police.

Thursday Schanze was formally charged with being a public nuisance and disorderly conduct.

“I just got done talking to the FAA for two hours, and they don’t seem to think there’s a problem other than they requested that I leave more space between cars when crossing the freeway,” Schanze told 2News. Isn’t it the FAA that has jurisdiction over aircraft?”

Officials with the Draper Police Department said they have concurrent, or overlapping, jurisdiction.

The incident began about 8:30 a.m. Thursday May 25 when motorists started calling Draper police and the Utah Highway Patrol about a low-flying paraglider.

UHP Sgt. Blaine Robbins said he and other troopers arrived in the area a short time later to check out the complaints.

"(The paraglider) got very, very low. It never did get overly low over the top of the freeway. On the side of the freeway it got really low,'' he said.

Schanze said he'd be happy to talk to the Federal Aviation Administration if needed because he does not believe he did anything wrong. "I try to obey every single (rule), and I'm pretty sure I did,'' he said.

The Federation Aviation Administration was not immediately available for comment.

From Deseret News:

Schanze charged in paragliding incident
Pat ReavyDeseret Morning News

"Super" Dell Schanze once again faces criminal charges. And once again Schanze isn't shy about expressing his displeasure with the charges or his accusers.

"Are they trying to say I broke the law or they hate me?" Schanze asked rhetorically Thursday afternoon. "I can't imagine the sheer ignorance of such (charges)."

The former owner of Totally Awesome Computers was charged with creating a public nuisance, a class B misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, an infraction. He is accused of flying his powered paraglider over and around I-15 during morning rush hour on May 24 and flying low through congested areas along the sides of I-15.

Draper police Sgt. Gerry Allred said detectives gathered numerous statements from witnesses who said they were "alarmed" and "afraid there might be a crash" after observing the low-flying, yellow-winged paraglider with a giant "S" on it.

Allred said Draper police met with the Utah Highway Patrol and FAA officials for a week before deciding what charges to file. The FAA is also considering its own charges, Allred said. "I want to make it clear this has nothing to do with Dell Schanze. This is about keeping the community safe," Allred said.

Schanze adamantly disagreed.

"All they're saying is, 'We hate Dell Schanze,' " he said. "How is it a public nuisance attracting attention? I think people with a half a brain cell know you can't charge that. Is there any logic to it? No."

Schanze questioned how flying his paraglider near I-15 was different from a "person riding a horse with a pink shirt and lights" next to I-15 or police cars with their red and blue lights on that have pulled over other vehicles.

"I'll accept the charge if they charge every one of their officers and charge everyone walking down the sidewalk," he said.

Schanze, never one to hold back his words, called the Draper Police Department on Thursday "ignorant, incompetent," "a disgrace to the nation" and "a bunch of monkeys that don't even use their heads."

Schanze was at Draper City Hall late Thursday afternoon to receive his summons papers. When members of the media tried to get an interview with police regarding the charges, they were led into another room. Police said they did not invite Schanze in order to conduct the interviews without interruption.

"They wanted to run and hide inside the building," Schanze said. "It's a shame to have police officers like that. It's a mockery of the American justice system."

"It was the citizens who alerted us to the low-flying paraglider and said they were concerned," Allred said. "We would have treated any low-flying aircraft the same way."

Schanze's court date was scheduled for June 13.

Allred said the incident has city officials considering an ordinance to specifically address the issue of paragliding and hang-gliding in the community.


Superdell Satire

From Salt Lake City Weekly:

Super Dell set to paraglide to KSL’s anchor desk.

As expected, KSL has replaced veteran newscaster Dick Nourse with erstwhile computer magnate Super Dell Schanze. “We felt it was time to make a move,” said director of media strategy Hal Willoughby. “Dick has been great for the last 75 years or so, but every once in a while, Nadine Wimmer has to goose him when it’s his turn to read from the TelePrompTer. KUTV may have just beat us in the last ratings period, but with Super Dell in the anchor chair, we fully expect to kick the snot out of Michelle and what’s his name over on Channel 2.”

In the past, Super Dell has occasionally been mildly critical of the media, referring to them as “angels of Satan” and “liars and murderers.” Asked about those comments at a hastily called news conference at the Triad Center, Mr. Schanze denied having a negative view of the media. “Did I say those evil things? My heavens, those are heinous words. The closest I ever came to saying anything at all negative about the media was when I called them ‘scumbag rat bastards,’ which is what I call some of my best friends.”

Sources at KSL revealed that losing the ratings war to KUTV resulted in considerable consternation. “Panic? I wouldn’t say we panicked,” said one assistant producer. “I would describe the mood as one of overwhelming terror. This was the first time in the history of the world that KSL has come in second, and we knew we had to act quickly. We did a lot of brainstorming about who would get us back on top of the ratings. We sent some feelers out to Karl Malone, and Mitt Romney’s name came up, but then someone remembered he was now governor of some state back East. Too bad, because Mitt has that anchorman look, especially since his successful hair-plug procedure.”

It is reported that KSL held secret talks with Larry Miller about coming on board, but it was decided that Miller was too warm-hearted to report the news. “We get a lot of sad stories,” said media director Willoughby, “and the last thing you want is the anchorman blubbering away on the air.

“Then we had one of those eureka moments,” continued Willoughby. “Larry Miller is the best known guy in Utah, but who’s in second place? Super Dell! He’s got super name recognition, super face recognition, and he brings his own brand of gravitas to the screen. What’s more, he’s a faithful servant of the Lord and is tough on crime.”

KSL insiders told us that a search is on for someone to replace Nadine Wimmer. “We love Dini, but we’re afraid there’s not the right chemistry with Super Dell,” confided a high-ranking executive. “Right now Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel seems to have the inside track, but former mayor Deedee Corridini is closing fast. It’s an interesting footnote to all this that Roma played Deedee in that TV movie about the Olympic scandal that came out a couple of years back, Mr. Ganga Comes to Town.”

Though they have been trying to keep plans for the show under wraps, it’s well known in media circles that the evening broadcast will be called Totally Awesome News, and the new slogan will be, “We love you!” Plans call for encouraging the telegenic Mr. Schanze to ad lib at will (in a mock broadcast, executives were pleasantly surprised at how easily the quick-witted personality nestled into his role, introducing a segment on Mayor Sparky by saying, “You won’t believe what that freakin’ nutcase is up to now!”)

If everything goes according to script, Super Dell will not only do the news, but the weather, traffic, special features, consumer complaints and sports as well. “We’d like him to get out of the studio as much as possible,” said one influential KSL executive. “It would be exciting to have Dell give traffic reports from his powered paraglider, and really liven things up by kicking the windshields of drivers using their cell phones or applying makeup. Dell would also like to do restaurant reviews, and he’s promised us he’ll do everything he can to get into some rollicking food fights.

“The segment that will really be a killer is something we think will totally destroy ‘Get Gephardt’ over on Channel 2. We call it ‘Troubleshooting,’ and Super Dell will roam the valley brandishing his 10mm Glock pistol, scaring the bejesus out of anyone who even thinks about watching anything but KSL.”

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Schanze Apparently Comments Online About Paragliding Incident

From KSL:

Schanze Apparently Comments Online About Paragliding Incident
Gene Kennedy Reporting

Dell Schanze is once again the buzz on the KSL comment boards.

A lot of people are talking about his stunt yesterday where he flew a powered paraglider near the I-15 / Bangerter overpass.

A comment came in late last night from a man claiming to be Dell Schanze. There's no way to verify it's actually him, but it would not surprise us because Dell Schanze has told us he regularly comments on the KSL online boards.

While Schanze flew his powered paraglider near Point of the Mountain yesterday, there was a car accident. Super Dell says he's not to blame for the accident and the Utah Highway Patrol agrees.

On the KSL comment boards Super Dell sarcastically states: "Perhaps those signs in Vegas with millions of blinking lights should be the only ones sited for traffic accidents. Come on people use your brains. I was not even close to fast moving traffic, nor was I a danger to anyone and trying to claim I'm a hazard just because I look cool is just plain silly. Once again the satan worshipping media makes a mountain out of a mole hill."

But police say Schanze was clearly visible to drivers and witnesses say they actually saw him cross over the freeway. The FAA and Utah authorities are investigating whether he broke the law.

Dell Schanze: "Did I do anything illegal? Hey, I don't think I did. I think I was following FAA regulations. But hey, if not, charge me."

Charges or not, there's definitely a backlash from the flying community over this. Paragliders call Schanze's stunt shocking, disappointing, and out of line.

Some say they feared an incident like this would happen and it would bring bad press to flyers who stress safety.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Low Flying Paraglider Piloted by Schanze Causes Stir

From KSL:

Low Flying Paraglider Piloted by Schanze Causes Stir
KSL Team Coverage

Super Dell Schanze finds himself back in the public eye, less than two weeks after his highly publicized trial. Today, Super Dell was flying his motorized paraglider along I-15 during the morning rush hour. Now police are considering charges.

Super Dell does not seem to be too happy about being back in the news, but regardless, what he did this morning is getting him a lot of attention.

As people were driving down the freeway this morning, they saw this a strange sight and may have wondered if it was a bird or a plane. But it was just Super Dell Schanze, out flying his motorized paraglider, right near the freeway.

And he got a lot of attention, so much so, that the Highway Patrol is investigating if his ultralight craft contributed to this wreck on the freeway. The cars involved got into a fender bender when traffic slowed down. The question is, did Super Dell cause drivers to be distracted and to slow down, and thus indirectly cause the wreck?

Draper police tell us they are considering criminal charges.

Sgt. Jerry Allred: "Our concern in Draper City is safety. IF the FAA doesn't want people flying over congested areas, it usually refers to a safety issues and we don't want our citizens put in jeopardy. And if we can identify who this pilot is and we feel like there are some kind of charges that need to be brought against him, then that's what we're going to do."

Dell Schanze insists he did nothing wrong. We talked to him by phone this morning, shortly after the flight, and we talked to him this afternoon at his home. Dell Schanze says he knows the rules and says he did not break them.

Schanze told Eyewitness News he took the flight for fun and as a promotion to sell paragliders; that's one of his businesses. He says he was trying to get attention.

Schanze told us he knows the rules and did NOT break FAA regulations. But the President of the US Paragliding Association disagrees. He watched our video online and was shocked. Schanze says he did not fly over the freeway; he was over a big field. He says our perspective in the video was off.

Dell Schanze: "There's a regulation that you can't hazardously distract drivers. And I wasn't distracting drivers driving down the freeway at 70 miles an hour. There's actually an on ramp right there where there's a red light. Did I do anything illegal? Hey, I don't think I did. I think I was following FAA regulations. But hey, if not, charge me."

He says it would be stupid to fly over the interstate, especially if his motor dies. Schanze says he did not fly into anyone and insists it's up to drivers to pay attention to their driving. He says the crash had nothing to do with him and the UHP agrees.

Draper police They say they are currently reviewing pictures and video taken, hoping to get a positive ID.

Sgt. Blaine Robbins, UHP: "As big as this valley is, and as many open areas as there are to operate a vehicle like that, that someone would choose to operate it so close to the freeway."
Apparently, this isn't the first time Schanze has challenged the rules of flying, and others in the sport aren't happy about it.

Utah is one of the most popular paragliding and hang gliding places in the country. It is an unregulated sport in that you don't have to have pilot's license, but there are FAA rules that these ultra light pilots must follow. It appears Schanze could have broken a couple of rules.

First off, you can't fly this type of aircraft over congested areas; and secondly, you can't operate an ultra light vehicle in a manner that creates a hazard to other people or property. The four state regional director of the US Hangliding and Paragliding Association says this isn't the first time Schanze has drawn attention to himself.

Steve Mayer, US Hangliding and Paragliding Assoc.: "There tends to be a couple of guys in the area that just don't want to follow the rules. They know them, they understand them, and they keep breaking them. And we've been feeling for years that it was going to be inevitable that something bad happened which brought bad press to the whole flying community."

Jonathan Jefferies, Paragliding Instructor: "We like to be really conscious about being safe, and keeping people safe and obeying the laws and doing what's right. And what he did was definitely wrong and out of line."

The Federal Aviation Administration controls all air space. Officials there couldn't comment on camera because it's likely they will be investigating this incident. However if the FAA determines federal regulations were violated, there are a range of sanctions. In the past, it's been things such as a fine of as much as 10-thousand dollars or confiscating his paraglider.

From ABC4:

Super Dell Schanze seen flying paraglider close to freeway

Dell Schanze may be in trouble with Draper Police again. They're looking into witness claims that he was flying his powered paraglider at a very low altitude near I-15.

Schanze admits he was there flying over an open field, which he says is not against FAA regulations. According to the FAA, "No person may operate an ultralight vehicle over any congested area of a city, town or settlement or over any open air assembly of persons."

Draper Police say the area next to I-15 is definitely a congested area. After getting a call from the Highway Patrol, three officers from Draper spotted the paraglider and watched him land, but they couldn't get to him before he left. They're not sure it was Schanze.

Schanze says, "Everything gets blamed on me, but its ok." He says he was flying, and explains where he was. "I did cross the freeway but you can cross a road as far as I know, I was told you can do that legally by the FAA numerous times."

Story by: Susan Wood

From KUTV:

Police Investigate Schanze Paraglider Flight

DRAPER "Super'' Dell Schanze was flying a paraglider near Interstate 15 Wednesday, resulting in a number of citizen complaints that are being investigated by police.

Schanze said he did not fly low over the highway.

"I was flying over a wide open field. As far as I know, I did everything correctly,'' he said. ``I just happen to be the type of person that attracts more attention than anyone else on earth.''

The incident began about 8:30 a.m. when motorists started calling Draper police and the Utah Highway Patrol about a low-flying paraglider.

UHP Sgt. Blaine Robbins said he and other troopers arrived in the area a short time later to check out the complaints.

"(The paraglider) got very very low. It never did get overly low over the top of the freeway. On the side of the freeway it got really low,'' he said.

Schanze told the Deseret Morning News that he flew over I-15, but at a minimum 500 feet, which he said is legal.

"You can't go buzzing over the freeway and kick people's windshields,'' he said. He also said he was near the freeway but that too was legal.

Schanze said he'd be happy to talk to the Federal Aviation Administration if needed because he does not believe he did anything wrong.

"I try to obey every single (rule), and I'm pretty sure I did,'' he said.

Double-Edged Dell

From CityWeekly:

Double-Edged Dell
For better or worse, Dan Young inherited a Totally Awesome legacy.
by Shane Johnson

In business, you’re either an example or a cautionary tale. Wunderkind dweeb “Super” Dell Schanze served as both.

Once the envy of entrepreneurs, Schanze lost his cool, lost his employees’ confidence and ultimately lost his Totally Awesome mini-empire—nine computer stores, a gun shop and a flying sports outfit. The lessons aren’t lost on Dan “The Laptop Man” Young, who calls his buddy’s tumble a “slow-motion train wreck.”

The story of the tortoise and the hare is an apt, if not original, analogy for Young and Schanze’s respective business styles. As a computer salesman for Silo Electronics, when it failed in 1994, Young saw past the unemployment line. He launched his own computer resell company, and pledged to personally honor Silo’s defaulted warranties. The gamble sapped his life savings that first year but paid off to the tune of $1 million in sales the next. The “white knight play,” as Young calls it, has worked time and again as competitors folded.

Schanze’s foray into the business was none-so-calculated. As Young recalls, shortly after moving the company that would become PC Laptops from his living room to its first storefront, “This crazy guy came in … didn’t have any money, but he wanted to trade some bullets or something.”
Young, now 34, sold Schanze a desktop and the two became fast friends. Soon, Schanze begin selling computers himself—out of his shipping store three doors down from Young. They agreed that was kind of “jacked up,” Young says, and Schanze moved his operation to Taylorsville.

But one has to wonder if the faux pas was accidental, because “then he actually recruited … my No. 2 guy,” Young says. And for a time, Utah’s would-be PC titans were archenemies. The discord blew over but, rather than compete for customers and talent, Young and Schanze entered into a handshake agreement to divvy up their markets, with Schanze focusing solely on desktops and Young on notebooks. At the time, Young says, desktop sales outpaced notebooks nearly 10-to-1, but he saw the potential.

Totally Awesome Computers blasted off, thanks in no small part to Schanze’s over-the-top advertising campaigns, while PC Laptops skipped along. Wanting Super Dell-like exposure, Young agreed to do a joint commercial. The ad—wherein Schanze disparaged laptops as junk but said Young was the best in the business—was a mixed bag.

“It was kind of insulting, but it helped me, too,” Young says. “The bad part, and why we stopped doing that almost immediately, is because people thought we had some sort of co-ownership. I’ve been having the hardest time clearing up that fog for the last seven years.”

Though Young didn’t abandon the slapstick approach, he made a point to come across as kinder and less grating than the impresario. The beginning of the end for Super Dell, he figures, is when Schanze’s spots turned into tirades against naysayers like the Better Business Bureau, a disgruntled customer and Provo’s mayor.

“It wasn’t just humor anymore, it got kind of personal,” says Young. “People started questioning whether it was an act or the real thing.”

As Schanze’s public reputation suffered, so, too, did employee morale. When a former top manager filed a discrimination lawsuit against the company in 2003, Schanze “lost his mojo,” says Young.
“His own people are turning on him, and he throws his hands up in the air,” Young explains. “But if you’ve got to steer your car and your hands are in the air, you’re going to crash.”

If Totally Awesome was teetering, Schanze’s run-in with some upset Draper dads early last year, and an ensuing PR fiasco, may have ensured its collapse. Pending trial for allegedly reckless driving, brandishing a firearm during the confrontation and lying to police, Schanze took his case to the court of public opinion, insisting in several interviews with news reporters that the press was vilifying his act of heroism. Exasperated that his message wasn’t getting through, at one point a tearful Schanze grabbed a KUTV 2 News reporter by the ears and implored him to listen. A jury earlier this month acquitted him on the gun charge but found Schanze guilty of lying to police. He pleaded guilty to speeding.

Schanze’s partial vindication came too late. Business had tanked, and despite a $50,000 loan last summer from Young, in March, Schanze closed shop, blaming the media’s “angels of Satan.”

To Schanze’s credit, Young says the implosion could have been worse. “Dell told me a long time ago … if there’s ever going to be the possibility that I’m not going to be able to make payroll, I’m just going to shut it down—I’m not going to screw them out of a check.”

Young says he’s long recognized some truths about celebrity that Schanze may have overlooked. The first is that, like “the force,” the media has unlimited power, and it will be “malicious if you’re malicious.” He also realized “a good PR firm’s always a great idea.”

In fact, it was Young’s flaks who suggested Totally Awesome’s demise as an opportunity to employ the “white knight.” Though Young admits it was a scary undertaking—he’d just sunk spare cash flows into PC Laptops’ first out-of-state expansion—he swooped in to “adopt” Schanze’s former customers and immediately rehired about 30 Totally Awesome computer technicians. Overnight, Young’s business nearly doubled.

Like Schanze once dreamed for Totally Awesome, Young is now taking PC Laptops national. For him, though, it’s not a race.

“He’d always joke and say, ‘Dan you’re chickencrap; you should be more aggressive,’” Young says. “Maybe we’ll have 30 or 40 states one day. But I’m not going to throw it all on red or black.”
Always looking ahead, Young says he forgave Schanze the $50,000 loan. It was the humane thing to do, yes, but Young also sees it as a smart bet on Super Dell 2.0. Noting his buddy’s love of flying and penchant for weaponry, “Maybe he’ll come back and invent a combat paradrone for the government, make a billion dollars and buy me a Ferrari,” Young says. As for Schanze’s bad rap, Young says he really believes he’s a superhero. “He would seriously take a bullet for me ... [and] he’d probably take a bullet for a stranger if he knew it was an innocent.”

For Schanze’s part, he still answers his cell phone with a chipper, “Totally Awesome!” However, still smarting from an earlier City Weekly article [“Dell on Earth,” Aug. 4, 2005], he declined comment for this article pending an apology from this “lying sack of turd.”

Young stresses that though he and Schanze are pals, their businesses were always separate, and Schanze is a “completely different human being.” Indeed.

Schanze Still Blames Media for Company's Problems

From KSL:

Schanze Still Blames Media for Company's Problems
Scott Hawes Reporting

On the heels of the Dell Schanze trial last week, we gave you a rare glimpse in to the world of Super Dell.

With the help of some meaty escorts, we got a chance to see Dell and his family, Dell and his computers, and Dell doing what he loves the most-- catching some serious air as he cruises the skies above the Point.

When it came time to talk about his trial, the fall of Totally Awesome Computers, and his public image, everything came back to the media.

Dell Schanze: "I don't even know myself watching TV. It's not the same. It's not me. I'm like, 'That's not me. I said that, but that's not the context I said it in.'"

Dell Schanze: "Totally Awesome? You killed it."

Dell Schanze: "We were going just fine and then all of a sudden boom. They aired this horrifically opposite of the truth story and bam! Sales crashed."

Dell Schanze: "They aired the story and instantly they caused a 40 to 50 percent drop in sales the next day."

What now for Super Dell? He says he'll do some more paragliding, perhaps sell a few paragliders. In the end, he says, don't worry about me. I'm Super Dell, I'll be okay.

KSL Looks at Super Dell Schanze's Life

From KSL:

A Look at Super Dell Schanze's Life
Scott Haws Reporting

Over the last 10 years, Super Dell Schanze has become one of Utah's most recognizable faces. But recent events, including his trial, the closing of Totally Awesome Computers and comments about the media following that announcement have a lot of people asking, what's the deal with Dell? Scott Haws got an exclusive look in to the world of Super Dell.

After announcing Totally Awesome was out of business, Dell Schanze approached me off-camera and asked "When are you going to start reporting the truth?" So I offered Dell an opportunity to show the real Dell Schanze and give you a chance to try on Schanze's shoes, if you will. He kindly accepted.

Welcome to the high-flying world of Dell Schanze, where the sky is a sanctuary. But recently, the man who calls himself Super Dell has been grounded by some Super Problems, problems he blames entirely on the media.

Dell Schanze: "You took an enthusiastic, outgoing, friendly guy and tried to make him look psycho. It's totally and completely backwards. That's not me."

To prove his point, Schanze invited us into his very well guarded world to see for ourselves. He lives in a cozy mountain home, complete with a six foot electric fence topped with razor wire. Excessive to some, a necessity to Schanze.

Dell Schanze: "No, it's not excessive. You get Elizabeth Smart, it happens all the time. You can't even be remotely too careful."

And Schanze says he has plenty to protect. He and his wife Teresa have four kids, two girls and two boys, ages 2 to 12. According to Schanze, this is the real Super Dell.

Dell Schanze: "People are missing out on the real Super Dell. The real Super Dell is the nicest guy on the planet and it's kind of sad that people don't get to experience something like that because of a misconceptions."

Schanze admits his often arrogant and cocky persona on camera rubs some the wrong way. "Not my fault," says Schanze.

Dell Schanze: "Just because I think I'm a superhero and I love me and I think I'm great doesn't mean I think anybody is beneath me. All I'm trying to do is say, 'Hey, everybody should be the center of their own universe. Everybody should be happy with the way they are. It's not an arrogant thing; you only take it wrong if you have a low self esteem and don't really comprehend where it's coming from."

In fact, in some ways, Schanze considers his polarizing personality somewhat of a blessing.

Dell Schanze: "I kind of like being me because I have a neat ability to quickly polarize people, because mean people will be extremely mean to me and nice people will be extremely nice. So I get to tell very quickly whether somebody is a good person or a bad person."

So what now for Super Dell? Totally Awesome is no more, his trial is over?

Dell Schanze: "I'm Super Dell. I'm always going to be able to take care of myself, no matter what. I'm a superhero. I should be used as the example. I'm not the one to be concerned about. I'll be able to take care of myself."

At one point during the interview, Schanze said he was poor, no more Jaguars, no more Vipers. Instead, he's now driving a leased Volkswagen diesel. He knows because of his public persona, people won't feel sorry for him. And Super Dell, being a super hero, isn't asking for any sympathy.

Monday morning on Eyewitness News Today, Super Dell explains why he feels the media is to blame for the downfall of Totally Awesome Computers.

If you're interested in seeing Scott's interview with Super Dell in its entirety, we have it here at

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Exclusive Interview with Superdell

(picture from after Superdell's trial)

Superdell was kind enough to respond to some emailed questions of mine:

SLC Library Boy: What really happened that day in Draper?

Superdell: Well here is what the news story should have been:

Road ragers attack on handicapped celebrity and his daughter foiled; Draper City charges victim with a crime.

What they charged me with is not a crime, the fact that I didn’t do it either is beside the point.

SLC Library Boy: Why did you close Totally Awesome Computers?

Superdell: It was destroyed by Drapers Cities false charges sir, the completely false news reporting and the ignorant people that actually believed the stupid stories. They try to say it was me and my management style bla bla bla but the straight up truth is the very next day after they aired the completely false Draper story sales dropped 40-50%. Instantly. That is obviously not something I did, that is 100% caused by the media and the blatantly false stories they aired trying to actually get people to believe I drove 100mph through a neighborhood while slaloming children and then pulled a gun and threatened a bunch of friendly neighbors that just wanted to ask me to slow down. That’s the first part of the evil media, I could have dealt with that but then they aired a story that I was going out of business when I DID NOT intend to do so. Obviously thousands of people started calling and freaking out about their warrantees and stuff which threw the employees into a panic and forced me to close the stores right there on the spot in the middle of the afternoon. Try to tell me that isn’t freaking evil and you are just clueless.

SLC Library Boy: Are you still in the glider business?

Superdell: Yes.

SLC Library Boy: What have you been doing lately and what are your plans for the future?

Superdell: Well just for fun I’ll give you this tidbit, a couple weeks ago I went through major back surgery to remove steel rods I’ve had in their for years that were driving me nuts. I have about a 20 inch incision as we are talking major operation. Then less than a week ago I had a bunch of major dental work done, 2 crowns & a fill. The Judge of course ordered that I not take any pain medication during the trial. What have I been doing? Having all kinds of fun trying to do a whole trial and smile for the TV cameras and think clearly while in excruciating pain from both of those ordeal. Plans for the future: Whatever the heck God wants me to do. Know yet but until I gain further light and knowledge on the subject I’m going to continue with the flying thing cuz it is a total blast. Wanna go flying? Oh, I may also run for Governor as our current one has no balls. I think he got a sex change but they forgot to finish the second half. Typical politician, bla bla bla never stick your neck out never get anything done, never step on anyone’s toes. I seriously doubt I would win but that isn’t my sin. I might just do it so people at least had the chance to get a Gov with some big brass ones hehe.

SLC Library Boy: Have you thought of hosting an a.m. talk radio show?

Superdell: Yes I have, I love doing talk shows. KTalk is by far my favorite station as they are the only one without all the bull crap evil people running it. You simply can’t get the truth out on clearchannel. Been there done that. I’m not really interested in my OWN show though as it takes too much time, I like to just jump in now and then with people like Kyle cuz they just let me talk about whatever I want without all the obligation to be there and stuff.

SLC Library Boy: Will you air your infomercial again, or make a new one?

Superdell: The infomercial was simply inspiration, God told me to do it so I did it. One take, one show. No script, no nothing. Just me with direct flow from the big guy.

Split Verdict for Superdell

From KSL:

Split Verdict for Super Dell

Richard Piatt reporting

Dell Schanze: "I'm me, I'm Super Dell. I'm a super hero by choice."

Super Dell is elated. His trial ends in a split verdict, not guilty on a weapons charge and guilty for giving a false statement to police.

Schanze's case started with a confrontation in Draper. A group of neighbors said he was speeding through their neighborhood. That situation went from bad to worse and ended with Schanze pulling a gun to defend himself.

Today, Schanze said he is relieved. He left the courthouse with a big smile on his face because of a not guilty verdict. He says he feels vindicated that the charge of threatening to use a weapon during a fight, went his way.

All along, he accused the people who confronted him in Draper of being vigilantes. They chased him for speeding through the neighborhood. Schanze did plead guilty, however, to speeding, a class C misdemeanor, for driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Schanze says the media made his situation worse.

Schanze: "You know, they dropped that down to a speeding ticket, so no problem, okay, I was speeding and I admit it. But other than that I reacted exactly as I was supposed to. The only remorse I feel is how stupid you guys have been for blowing it all out of proportion and trying to make an honorable person look like a liar."

Schanze was convicted of making a false statement to police. He didn't initially admit to police that he pulled a gun. He says he plans to appeal that conviction.

He also says this is a case that is an example for when you can pull a gun to defend yourself. His lawyer says the state statute on that is vague, as to what constitutes a threat. That could be handled next session in the legislature.

The second charge, for which he was found guilty is a class B misdemeanor, which would carry a maximum of one year in jail. It is unlikely Schanze will see any jail time. It is also doubtful that this will affect his concealed carry permit status.

From Deseret News:

Mixed verdict in Schanze case
Linda Thomson
Deseret Morning News

WEST JORDAN — Dell Buck Schanze, the former computer store mogul better known as "Super Dell" from his TV commercials, was found not guilty of threatening or using a dangerous weapon during a fight by a jury on Thursday.

Had he been convicted of the class A misdemeanor, Schanze would have lost his permit to carry a concealed weapon and potentially could have faced a year in jail.

But the four-man, two-woman jury did convict Schanze, 36, of making a false written statement, a class B misdemeanor, that potentially carries a sentence of six months in jail.

Schanze only minutes before his trial began Wednesday entered into a plea agreement that reduced another charge of reckless driving to a class C misdemeanor speeding charge, to which he pleaded guilty.

Third District Judge Royal Hansen set June 28 for sentencing on both counts and ordered a pre-sentence report. Although misdemea- nor convictions carry potential jail sentences and fines, Utah judges have the authority to suspend jail time, put an individual on probation and impose such sanctions as community service.

Prosecutor Chris Bown said he was happy with the verdict, which the jury rendered after deliberating for 3 1/2 hours. "We made our best case, and the jury made its decision, and we're going to abide by it," Bown said.

Defense attorney James "Mitch" Vilos said he was "mildly disappointed" in the verdict, although he respects the jury system. He said Schanze plans to appeal the written false statement conviction.

Vilos also suggested some changes in the law would be useful. "I think more work will be done in the Legislature to clarify some of the subtleties of the law," Vilos said, referring particularly to what constitutes the use of lethal force when defending one's property.

Schanze, with his wife, Teresa, by his side, meanwhile launched into a verbal tirade against the media outside the courtroom, accusing re- porters of destroying his successful computer business through "lies and distortions of the truth."

Schanze said the jury convicted him on the one charge only because of the "hate and contention" bred by the press.

"I believe in telling the truth. The fact that you guys are misreporting the truth, that's your sin, not mine," he said. "I still love you. I wish you wouldn't have told so many lies. Go forth and sin no more."

The charges stemmed from a May 21, 2005, incident in which three Draper residents followed Schanze and confronted him after he drove through their neighborhood to a hang-gliding park at Point of the Mountain. The three men testified they were incensed that Schanze was speeding and that they feared for the safety of neighborhood children.

One man, Clint Sanderson, threatened to break the taillights of Schanze's Jaguar and picked up a rock. Schanze pulled out a 10 mm Glock pistol from a pants pocket, then put it away.
During the one day of testimony, witness accounts varied as to how Schanze held the gun and what he did with it.

The prosecutor argued that Schanze overreacted, used the gun in a threatening manner, which is against the law, and that there was no self-defense involved in the situation. But the defense attorney said Schanze was justified in getting the weapon ready when confronted by three yelling strangers acting like "vigilantes" because Schanze was afraid for his own safety, that of his 8-year-old daughter who was with him, and for his car.

W. Clark Aposhian, a firearms instructor who certified Schanze for a concealed weapon permit and formerly worked for Schanze, said if Schanze had been convicted on the gun charge, he would have lost his permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Schanze pledged to continue to carry guns, either concealed with the permit that he now holds, or if he should ever lose that, then carrying them openly, which also is legal in Utah.
He said his only regret in the situation is the speeding, which he said he admitted to and for which he apologized.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

Breaking: Split verdict in 'Super' Dell Schanze trial
By Stephen HuntThe Salt Lake Tribune

"Super" Dell Buck Schanze - the eccentric, outspoken owner of a now-defunct chain of computer stores - was acquitted today on a charge he illegally brandished a firearm during a quarrel. But the six-person jury found him guilty of lying to police about the incident.

The jury returned the split verdict this afternoon following about four hours of deliberations. Third District Judge Royal Hansen scheduled sentencing for June 28. Schanze could face up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine on the class B misdemeanor conviction of making a written false statement to police.

Asked if he felt any remorse or would do anything differently, Schanze said, "No. I reacted exactly as I was supposed to. I reacted flawlessly." Schanze said he plans to appeal the false statement conviction. Schanze, 36, of Sandy, was on trial for pulling a handgun after he sped through a Draper neighborhood on May 21, 2005, and was confronted by angry residents who had followed him to a nearby hang-gliding park.

In front of Schanze's 8-year-old daugther, the residents scolded Schanze for endangering children in the neighborhood. Schanze, who has a concealed weapons permit, pulled out his gun when Clint Sanderson picked up a rock and threatened to break the tail lights on Schanze's Jaguar.

During closing arguments, defense attorney James "Mitch" Vilos said the residents were "vigilantes" who had worked themselves into a "frenzy, like a pack of wolves feeding off each other's anger." Vilos said Schanze ended the confrontation without anyone getting hurt.

Prosecutor Christopher Bown argued that the threat of deadly force was not justified because property, not a person, was at risk.

"Vigilantes, victims, citizens - call them what you will - they did nothing to Mr. Schanze," Bown said.

But Vilos countered, "Mr. Schanze did not use deadly force. No one has ever died from seeing a gun." It was Sanderson, Vilos said, who "escalated violence" with verbal threats followed by threatened vandalism and picking up a rock. "Mr. Schanze didn'tsay a word." Schanze sobbed aloud and wiped at tears as Vilos described the rock as a potential deadly weapon. Vilos also told the six-member jury that Schanze is a misunderstood "genius" who is "somewhat eccentric at times," but still entitled to justice. Vilos told jurors he decided Schanze should not testify. "At times he can say things that are irritating and I didn't want that to cloud anyone's judgment." Schanze showed his eccentric side during a hallway tirade this morning in which he blamed the news media for the failure of his Totally Awesome computer store empire. He said sales immediately dropped 40 percent after initial stories appeared about the Draper incident.

"Are you going to apologize for destroying an entire company?" he asked a TV reporter.

Despite pleading guilty Wednesday to speeding 50 mph in a 25 mph zone, Schanze told reporters today that he "never sped past one child." He said he slowed to below the speed limit whenever he saw a child and then sped up again. Schanze began crying again as he talked about the three residents who were "cussing and swearing" in front of his daughter that day. "I don't care if people attack me," he said. "I can take care of myself, which I did. But how can I protect the innocence of that child - an 8-year-old child who was holding my hand?" He also insisted he did not lie to police by omitting mention of a gun in a written statement, in which he said he pulled out a cell phone.

"I did not lie to police, you freaking idiot," he told the TV reporter. "I did not use lethal force. Are the guys dead? No."

Superdell's Trial

From KSL:

Dell Schanze's Trial Gets Underway

WEST JORDAN, Utah (AP/KSL) -- The trial for the former owner of Totally Awesome Computers got underway this morning.

This morning before Schanze went into court, he asked the public to pray to justice in his case, insisting that he is innocent of the charge presented against him.

Dell Schanze, Former Owner of Totally Awesome Computers: "Pray for justice to be done, cause the truth is on my side. God cannot be used to skew the truth. Also, pray for a state that would issue you a concealed carry permit, but then arrest you the first time you use it to defend yourself."

The trial began with Dell Schanze pleading guilty to a reduced charge. Prosecutors reduced his reckless driving charge to speeding.

Schanze, 36, of Sandy is charged with "threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel," a class A misdemeanor.

Prosecutors say that after speeding through a Draper neighborhood on May 21, 2005, Schanze brandished a handgun as he was confronted by several angry residents who had followed him to a hang-gliding park.

He allegedly pulled a Glock 10mm handgun from his pocket when one resident threatened to break the tail lights of Schanze's black Jaguar. Prosecutor Christopher Bown said Schanze overreacted.

"He pulled the weapon when their was no self defense," Bown told the six-person jury during opening statements.

Defense attorney James "Mitch" Vilos called it "a case of a man taking reasonable precautions to protect himself, two children and his property from three angry strangers, who were acting like vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands."

Vilos said Schanze showed the gun, "not to threaten. It was to be ready to react."
Mike Ludwig, Neighbor, May 2005: "This is a totally awesome neighborhood and we'd like to keep it that way."

Dell Schanze, May 2005: "Absolutely steam coming out of their ears, psycho road ragers."
At the point Schanze pulled the gun, Clinton Sanderson was at least 20 feet away, according to testimony.

Sanderson testified he dropped the rock as soon as he turned and saw Schanze holding the gun over his heart. When police arrived, Schanze insisted he had not brandished a gun. In a written statement, he claimed he produced only a cell phone with which he offered to call police. He later told news reporters that he had showed a gun.

For making those apparently inconsistent remarks, Schanze is charged with providing a false statement to police, a class B misdemeanor.

Schanze was also charged with reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor, but prior to the trial, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of speeding, a class C misdemeanor, for driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.

During a break, Schanze said, "I'll plead guilty to anything I'm guilty of."

If ever anyone subscribed to the mantra "any publicity is good publicity" it was Super Dell Schanze. For years it seemed to work. For his businesses; a gun range and computer stores.
Dell Schanze: "hoo-hoo, ha-ha."

This time all the publicity was not good. Totally Awesome Computers closed nearly a year later and he blamed the media.

The trial is expected to last three days.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

From ABC4:

"Super Dell" Schanze pleads guilty to one charge; still faces 2 more

Super Dell Schanze is guilty of one misdemeanor charge, but still facing 2 others. Schanze's trial began Wednesday in West Jordan. He is accused of using a dangerous weapon and making a false statement. Both of these charges stem from an incident last year when Schanze sped thru a Draper street and was confronted by angry residents. Going into court Wednesday morning, Schanze told reporters: "Pray for a state that would issue you a concealed carry permit but then arrest you the first time you use it to defend yourself. So thank you. Appreciate everyone's support." But earlier, Schanze did plead guilty to one charge of speeding. The other 2 charges will go to the jury Thursday morning.

Story by: Chris Vanocur

From Salt Lake Tribune:

'Super Dell' promises a fight at his firearm trial next week

WEST JORDAN - Dell Schanze's defense attorney says he will "come out of the gates swinging" at Schanze's trial next week on charges he brandished a gun at several citizens who confronted him about speeding through their Draper neighborhood last May.

Asked if he expects to win the case, Schanze said: "It really comes down to, why are they charging me with something that is not a crime and that I didn't do?"

A three-day trial is set to begin May 10 before 3rd District Judge Royal Hansen. Schanze - the former owner of a chain of computer stores - is charged with "threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel," a class A misdemeanor.

The 36-year-old Sandy resident is also charged with reckless driving and giving a false written statement to police, both class B misdemeanors.

Schanze has told news reporters he pulled a handgun from his pocket to protect himself from "a gang of vigilantes," one of whom had picked up a rock and threatened to break the taillights on Schanze's black Jaguar. Inside the car was Schanze's 8-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors will argue that the confrontation was not a situation in which the threat of deadly force was warranted.

They will also claim Schanze lied in a written statement by claiming he pulled out a cell phone and offered to call police. The statement never mentions a gun.
- Stephen Hunt

From KUTV:

With Video & Slideshow!!!
Dell Schanze: 'The Truth Is On My Side'
(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY- The man who used to run "Totally Awesome Computers" was in a Salt Lake City courtroom on Wednesday, for the start of his trial -- on charges of threatening residents with a gun.
Dell Schanze is accused of pulling a gun on a group of Draper residents, who say they witnessed Schanze speed through their neighborhood in May of 2005.
Angered and concerned for their children's safety, the neighbors caught up to Schanze and confronted him about his speed. According to one neighbor, Schanze then pulled a handgun and held it across his chest in a threatening manner.
However, Schanze claims one of the angry men had picked up a rock and threatened to break out his car's tail light. Since he was with his young daughter at the time, Schanze, a concealed weapons permit holder, says he was merely acting to protect his child."
Pray for a state that would issue you a concealed carry permit, but then arrest you the first time you use it to defend youself," Schanze told 2News outside of the courtroom. He added, "Pray for justice to be done... the truth is on my side."
The trial started with Schanze pleading 'guilty' to a reduced charge of speeding, which was scaled back from 'reckless driving.'He still faces two misdemeanor charges of making threats with a dangerous weapon in a fight and making written false statements.
The trial is expected to last three days.
Super Dell appears in court
The Associated Press
WEST JORDAN, Utah -- "Super" Dell Schanze has pleaded guilty to speeding and begun trial on charges that he brandished a gun at neighbors angry about the speeding and that he lied about it.
Outside the court Wednesday, the former computer store owner complained about living in a state that "will issue you a concealed weapons permit then arrest you the first time you use it."Schanze, 36, of Sandy is charged with "threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel," a class A misdemeanor.
Prosecutors say after speeding through a Draper neighborhood on May 21, 2005, Schanze brandished a handgun as he was confronted by several angry residents who had followed him to a hang-gliding park.
He allegedly pulled a Glock 10mm handgun from his pocket when one resident threatened to break the tail lights of Schanze's black Jaguar. Prosecutor Christopher Bown said Schanze overreacted.
"He pulled the weapon when their was no self defense," Bown told the six-person jury during opening statements.
Defense attorney James "Mitch" Vilos called it "a case of a man taking reasonable precautions to protect himself, two children and his property from three angry strangers, who were acting like vigilantes and taking the law into their own hands."
Vilos said Schanze showed the gun, "not to threaten. It was to be ready to react."
At the point Schanze pulled the gun, Clinton Sanderson was at least 20 feet away, according to testimony.
Sanderson testified he dropped the rock as soon as he turned and saw Schanze holding the gun over his heart. When police arrived, Schanze insisted he had not brandished a gun. In a written statement, he claimed he produced only a cell phone with which he offered to call police. He later told news reporters that he had showed a gun.
For making those apparently inconsistent remarks, Schanze is charged with providing a false statement to police, a class B misdemeanor.
Schanze was also charged with reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor, but prior to the trial, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of speeding, a class C misdemeanor, for driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone.
During a break, Schanze said, "I'll plead guilty to anything I'm guilty of."
------Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune,
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page C2.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dell Schanze Scheduled for Court Appearance

From KSL:

Dell Schanze Scheduled for Court Appearance

(KSL News) -- The lawyer defending Dell Schanze on reckless driving and gun charges claims his client will be acquitted.

The former owner of Totally Awesome Computers goes on trial May 10th, charged with reckless driving, threatening to use a weapon, and giving a false statement to police. In May 2005, witnesses say Schanze sped through a Draper neighborhood and pulled a gun on a group of neighbors when they confronted him.

Attorneys in court today talked about logistics for the upcoming trial. Schanze's lawyer says there are holes in the prosecution's case, and he thinks Schanze would not have faced charges in other parts of Utah.

Mitch Vilos, Schanze's Lawyer: "The police report itself, based upon the witnesses, sheds doubt on the charges, so I'm very confident that we have a very good case."

Early this month, Totally Awesome Computers went out of business. In a taped tirade, Schanze blamed the media for the failure of the business.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Superdell and God

“And if I don’t service my customers as I have promised, please destroy my business that my fear of thee might help compel me to remember thee and keep thy commandments…I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” -Superdell, in a radio ad, following September 11th, 2001

The Deseret News reported that an anonymous email disclosed that “privately held Totally Awesome Computers had faced ‘a steady decline in sales since 2001.’”

Did Superdell keep his promises? Consumers and the Better Business Bureau have claimed that he didn’t.

But when the closure of Totally Awesome Computers was announced, fear of God wasn’t what Superdell was feeling:

“I can say to the people in Utah, please pray for all the news people because if you die right now, your souls and eternal salvation is seriously in jeopardy.”

“I would not want to be in your shoes…You are Angels of Satan and you need to repent.”

“Look at you…you’re mocking and you’re smiling. That’s exactly what they were doing when they crucified Jesus Christ.” (see video “News at 10”)

It will be up to others to keep Superdell’s promise of “lifetime warranty” now.

My friend Amanda once remarked “everyone has an opposite twin and, somewhere in the world, there is a HumbleDell.”

SUPERDELL falls from grace


SUPERDELL falls from grace
From Theresa Husarik,Your Guide to Salt Lake City, UT.
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As of last Friday, Totally Awesome Computers is no more. The infamous Dell Shanze AKA SUPERDELL is blaming the media for the company's failure.

Shanze said in a televised interview: “It’s too bad that all of the media in Utah are liars and murderers,” he said. “You just destroyed the greatest computer company of all time. We were the best in the world, the world champion. All this hatred was created by you. You’re basically angels of Satan. All I can say to the people in Utah is, please pray for all the news people.”
But, as some of his customers know, that is not the case. "I won't take my computer there anymore," said Robin, a formerly loyal customer. "They don't know what they are doing and they have really messed things up for me."

"The last two times I have called with a question, they have not given me a good answer," said Brian.

"The first time, was when my 'totally awesome computer' was acting up after a reboot. It has done this before but I couldn't remember what I did to fix it. So I called the hotline. After I described the problem, they told me my hard drive was probably dead and that I should bring the computer in immediately. I hung up, knowing that wasn't right. Then I remembered what to do and a simple fix got my computer working again without having to unplug everything and haul it to the shop."

"The second time they irritated me," he said, "I was having an internet problem. They sent me to an 800 number for their internet person 'who doesn't work at the store exactly.' I called the number and it was a bank in Provo. I left a message but they didn't call me back."
"I guess they don't love me anymore," he said.

Shanze granted an interview way back in 2000 when his business was just gaining momentum. I thought the guy was sincere and had a great idea and work ethic. I even bought a computer from him.

But something has gone awry and it appears he will not attain those goals he shared with me in 2000. "I want to be a Supreme Ruler! In a few years, I want to have the biggest company in the world, where Bill Gates works for me, and Dell, Micron and Gateway sell out to me for $1."
Dan "The Laptop Man", owner of PC Laptops will be hiring some of Totally Awesome's former employees and will be honoring warranties for at least 90 days.

Here's the interview:

SUPERDELL of Totally Awesome Computers is pretty much a household name. He has a series of radio and TV commercials that are hard to miss, and hard to forget. Let's face it, they are downright goofy. But, they are effective! And that is what advertising is all about.
Because of the commercials, his character has become one that you love to hate. I've heard people groan when you mention his name. One of his commercials is narrated by a now loyal customer didn't want to go to him at first because he thought SUPERDELL was such a "turkey".
Well, I was curious to know a little more about the man at the root of all this controversy. I met him at his Sandy store, and I was struck by an overwhelming feeling of camaraderie among the people there - both the sales people and the customers. Everybody seemed happy and enjoying themselves. One gentleman arrived hauling a computer. He was asked what was wrong and he said nothing was wrong, he was bringing it in to add more stuff to it.

We talked over lunch at his favorite lunch stop - Taco Bell. Here are a few of the things he had to say:

TH: How did you get started in business?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I was managing my packing and shipping business (Pack and Send Plus) when, about 3 1/2 years ago, Raymond Bingham from KALL910 came in inquiring if I'd like to buy advertising time on the radio show. I was offered 60 time slots of 60 seconds each for $910. I jumped at it, but told him I was interested in advertising something quite different - a computer building business. I had been building my own computers and bragging to my friends about how cool they were. Within about a month, 5 of those friends put in orders for me to build them a computer. This is what I wanted to advertise on KALL radio. In the first week after the first ad, I sold 12 machines. The business I was generating on the computer building front almost instantly took over what I had been doing in the shipping/packaging business, so I changed jobs. I now sell over 200 machines a week, and had about 1.8 million dollars in sales last month.

TH: How long have you been interested in computers? Have you always been a computer nerd?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I have been playing with computers since I was 7 years old. I've written in Assembly code on an Apple II, and have written for a TI994A. I am self-taught.

TH: So, how do you do it? How can you sell computers for so cheap and still make a profit?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I am successful because I am not greedy. I am willing to sell for less and make a profit because of volume. And, I have a very low overhead. When my volume of sales increases, I can then afford to lower the prices even further - I just lowered the prices by $100 per machine. But, even more important than the price is the total package.

TH: Tell me more about what you mean by the "total package".

SUPERDELL paraphrased: Quality, price and service. If somebody has a problem, even if it is something they broke themselves, we will fix it. If we can't fix it, we will give you a new computer or your money back, whatever they want. I personally see to the problems; I will call the customer personally. But, we don't see too many people wanting their money back, only about 1 in 900, and that one is the type of person who simply won't let you help them. Gateway, on the other hand gets about 35% returns.

TH: Your commercials seem to pick on Gateway, why them?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: Because they are the biggest, and I want to see that the public is educated. But I don't really just pick on them, I'm against all the big guys who are taking advantage of the customer by charging too much and then leaving them out on a limb when they have problems.

TH: Do you have plans to open any more stores?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: Yes, we have 5 now (Orem, Sandy, Murray, Layton and Bountiful), and will be opening another one on Foothill Boulevard in about a month.

TH: Let's talk about your commercials. One of them mentions lawsuits. Have you really been sued by your competition?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: No one has ever actually sued, but I have a rather thick file of legal notices asking me to "cease and desist". Warner Brothers has tried to say I am a take-off of SuperMan. I am wacky and crazy, but I don't say anything untrue, so they can't sue me.

TH: Does your wackiness and craziness generate any negative email or letters?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: Yes, lots, but none from customers.

TH: I heard you were mistakenly addressed as Super Dave by Governor Leavitt, and also that have been compared to Crazy Eddie and T-Buff. How do you feel about that?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I think it is funny! Really, you can't offend me. About the Governor Leavitt mistake, that incident happened at the Governor's Ball. He had just talked to about 2000 people, and was pretty tired and just goofed up. He does know me, we've done business. After he mistakenly called me Super Dave, he made a point of calling out to me from across the room with my correct name. [ Note from TH: At the Sandy store, there is a framed picture of SUPERDELL and Governor Leavitt together. ]

TH: Who is your most famous customer?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: They are all famous to me, they are all my heroes! [ Note from
TH: SUPERDELL mentioned that it wouldn't be fair to mention big names and imply that they endorsed his products and services - a very noble comment indeed! ]

TH: Besides the commercial about the guy who didn't want to come to you in the first place because he thought you were such a turkey, and now he is a loyal customer, what is your favorite "turn-around story" like this?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: A guy came in here one time arguing loudly about how a different modem than the one I recommend is way better. I proved that the man was wrong, and the guy ended up buying a computer!

TH: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you when you were recognized on the street?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: Actually, it wasn't on the street. I went into a Gateway store and was running some benchmarks on their computers. Just about the time I was proving my systems were way faster, they recognized me and came over to me and said, "SUPERDELL, We're going to have to ask you to leave..."

TH: Any other funny stories that turned into a success?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I was driving home from Wendover one day and stopped to help this guy who was stuck in the salt flat. Of course, though, before I helped him, I had to drive around his stuck truck to show how much more macho my truck was. Turns out he was a local wildlife photographer, and I now bundle his work in the form of a screen saver with the computers I sell.

TH: Speaking of bundled software, how to you choose what should go on the computers you sell?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I put on the computers what I want. Whatever I feel is necessary to do business or get around that everybody else will want to have, that is what I install. Things such as a web browser and WinZip that might not be considered standard, but everybody needs.
TH: Is Totally Awesome Computers involved in any community service?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: The betterment of the community and society as a whole is the main objective in life. What do you make money for otherwise? Yes, we donate to various charities and schools. In fact, over half of my personal income goes to charities.

TH: Can we ask a little about your personal life? How long have you been married? Any kids, any pets?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I haven't been married long enough! My wife is the most flawless person on earth - even more so than me [ said with a wink ]. I met my wife at a dance. I saw her across the crowded dance floor, and went over and asked her if she would like to dance. We have two girls ( a 3 year old and a 6 year old), and one dog - a bull mastiff.

TH: Final question: What do you want to be when you grow up?

SUPERDELL paraphrased: I want to be a Supreme Ruler! In a few years, I want to have the biggest company in the world, where Bill Gates works for me, and Dell, Micron and Gateway sell out to me for $1.

So there you have it! SUPERDELL is a regular guy with solid business practices that his customers appreciate and keep coming back for. His flamboyant commercials make him a household name, but his honesty and integrity are what make his services popular, and his customers loyal. If you need a computer, whether a whole new system or just some new gadget, check out Totally Awesome Computers first. You'll be glad you did!

SUPERDELL's Totally Awesome Computers website is