CHICAGO — Two men and two women are in custody after police found a missing suburban man who was allegedly kidnapped and tortured on a live-stream video on the West Side.
Denouncing violent acts against a helpless man as "sickening," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson on Wednesday night credited beat officers in the 11th District for ensuring the victim's safety and working to bring in the alleged attackers.
Tuesday afternoon, officers found a disoriented man while on patrol in the 3400 block of West Lexington Street. The man, whom officers said had mental health challenges, was taken to an area hospital for treatment, police said.
The victim was so distraught, it took most of the night before he could speak with officers, police said. The man's condition wasn't known, but he was listed as "stable," police said.
CPD press conference regarding disturbing live social media video depicting a battery ; victim was tied up https://t.co/jDrjfz4sJV— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) January 5, 2017
"He's traumatized by the incident, and it's very tough to communicate with him at this point," Area North Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said Wednesday.
Around 5:26 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a battery at a home in the 3300 block of West Lexington. They discovered signs of a struggle and damage to the property and were able to connect the home to the missing man, police said.
Officers were later alerted to a video of the man being assaulted and are questioning suspects, police said.
"You hear the narrative that police are backing down and not doing their jobs," Johnson said. "This is a perfect example of them doing their jobs. They cared enough to take the case and continue the investigation, and it brought us to where we are right now."
In the live-streamed video, the man's clothes are torn, cigarette ashes are thrown on him, and his hair is cut with a knife until his scalp bleeds, according to CBS Chicago.
The victim was held for one or two days in the West Lexington residence after he willingly came to Chicago with one of his alleged attackers, whom he knew from a suburban school, police said. Eventually, they unbound him and let him go, officers said.
NBC Chicago reported the man was bound and gagged while the attackers shouted "F--- Donald Trump."
But some of the comments could be chalked up to mere "stupidity," and were unlikely politically motivated, Johnson said.
"I really can't say what's in the mind of four individuals that would do something as sickening as this," Johnson said. "But I can't connect what these folks did" with Trump's comments about Chicago violence.
"It's people just ranting about something they think might make a headline," Johnson added.
The victim was reported missing and endangered, police said. He did not report being under the influence of any intoxicants, but a toxicology report will take a few weeks, police said. He is believed to be from suburban Crystal Lake, CBS reports.
Prosecutors expect to file charges Thursday against the four people arrested, police said. Kidnapping and committing a hate crime are among the charges being considered, officers said.
The accused assailants — three from Chicago and one from Carpentersville — were teenagers, which police said they would factor into the investigation.
"Although they are adults, they're 18. Kids make stupid decisions," Duffin said. "That certainly will be part of whether or not we seek [to charge them with] a hate crime, to determine whether or not this is sincere, or just stupid ranting and raving."
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