'Political terrorist': Chicago man charged with leaving death threat on Darren Bailey's voicemail

Darren Bailey says threat is a result of Gov. JB Pritzker's rhetoric in campaign ads

Thursday, November 3, 2022
Lakeview man charged with threatening to 'skin Darren Bailey alive'
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Scott Lennox, 21, has been charged with allegedly making a death threat against Republican Illinois candidate for governor Darren Bailey.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago man is behind bars after he was charged with making a violent threat toward Republican candidate for Illinois governor, Darren Bailey.

Prosecutors said that the suspect was angry after seeing TV ads about the gubernatorial candidate and then bragged on social media that he was a "political terrorist."

Bailey told ABC7 in an exclusive interview that the suspect mentioned Pritzker's ads in the voicemail, and for that reason, Bailey says this threat falls at the feet of Governor JB Pritzker.

"This is exactly the product of JB Pritzker, you know, his divisiveness and his rhetoric," Bailey said. "JB Pritzker's creating this."

Bailey spoke about the threatening voice message that police say 21-year-old Scott Lennox confessed to leaving on Bailey's Springfield office phone.

Scott Lennox, 21, of Chicago.
Cook County State's Attorney

"Very vulgar, very disturbing. And mentioned my family, mentioned entities, my children," Bailey said. "So that was, that was the disturbing part."

In court Wednesday, prosecutors said Lennox, who lives in a Lakeview high-rise and works at a North side garden shop, made the call from a bar Friday night after getting angry at a political ad about Bailey that came on the TV.

He then allegedly called Bailey's office. According to prosecutors, Lennox said in the voicemail, "I'm going to skin Darren Bailey alive, making sure he is still alive and I'm going to feed his (expletive) family to him as he is alive and screaming in (expletive) pain."

Lennox also mentioned abortion, adding, "I am going to make him scream and suffer. Yeah, that's right, so he better kill himself and if he doesn't, I am going to kill him."

The voicemail was discovered Monday morning by a legislative aid in Bailey's state senate office. It prompted Bailey to cancel public appearances and his private school to go on soft lockdown.

Secretary of State police contacted Lennox and deemed the threat not credible. State police followed up and arrested Lennox at his Chicago apartment Monday night.

Governor JB Pritzker denounced the threat in a tweet, saying, "The violent rhetoric and division we're seeing across our country is unacceptable. Hatred in any form has no home in Illinois."

Bailey said when the controversial Safe-T Act goes into effect in January, defendants in cases like this might get treated differently.

"It's my understand with the Safe-T Act that threats, you know threats against public officials, will be non-detainable offenses, so again, due to the nature of this call, state police encouraged us to pursue this," Bailey said.

Before his arrest, prosecutors said Lennox sent Snapchat messages to several friends bragging and laughing about the threat and proudly calling himself a political terrorist.

Although Lennox has not been arrested before, he was ordered held on $75,000 bond. He has to post 10% of that, which is $7,500.

He will also be on electronic monitoring, which the sheriff's department said will delay his possible release until Thursday.