Lightfoot stalker tossed his electronic monitoring bracelet into a river, escaped to Canadian border island: prosecutors

CHICAGO — Garrett McLinn, the Chicago Public Schools teacher charged with stalking Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier this year, is back in custody after taking a little unauthorized break from his electronic monitoring regimen.

Washington state officials located McLinn last month on the San Juan Islands, nestled in the Salish Sea just shy of the Canadian border. The area looks beautiful if you’re looking for a summer getaway and, you know, you’re not under court order to be on electronic monitoring in Logan Square.

Cook County sheriff’s investigators brought McLinn back to Chicago on Friday evening. During a bail hearing Saturday, prosecutors said McLinn tossed his electronic monitoring bracelet into a river somewhere along the way. Officially, he’s accused in court records of cutting the ankle monitor off in Missoula, Montana, on May 20.

Garrett McLinn was arrested in San Juan County, Washington. | Cook County sheriff’s office; Google

McLinn was on leave from his teaching job at Taft High School when he showed up repeatedly at Lightfoot’s home in late March, agitated and frustrated that Chicago police officers were still posted outside after she lost her re-election bid, officials said.

At one point, Assistant State’s Attorney Jose Villareal said this spring, McLinn spoke with members of Lightfoot’s security detail, expressing his frustration with their presence because he believed she was no longer mayor.

Later, McLinn allegedly drove past Lightfoot’s car and flipped off the cops who were sitting outside. He returned to the mayor’s house the next day and went on a 20-minute rant about the security detail, according to Villareal.

After McLinn left, the police informed Lightfoot about the situation, and she “expressed safety concerns,” according to Villareal.

Members of Lightfoot’s team arrested McLinn that evening when they saw him walking on the sidewalk across from her home.

Chicago police license plate reader data allegedly showed McLinn was in the area of Lightfoot’s home 14 times in two days. He has no criminal background.

McLinn’s name does not appear on Taft’s current faculty member page, but his name is on the most recent CPS employee list, published on June 30.

Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz put McLinn on a GPS tracker when he appeared before her on the stalking charges in April and ordered him to stay away from Lightfoot’s house.

But court records show things didn’t go well almost from the start. Prosecutors filed a violation of bail bond on May 4, apparently due to electronic monitoring issues. Judge Peggy Chiampas released him again four days later.

And she issued an arrest warrant for him ten days later when he failed to appear in court. Two days after that, he was allegedly in Missoula.

On Saturday, Judge Barbara Dawkins held McLinn without bail for violating bail bond. She set bail at $500,000 on a new charge of escape from electronic monitoring.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com