(CHICAGO) — Four people were arrested in Chicago Wednesday in connection with a "sickening" video posted to social media that allegedly shows the individuals committing a "brutal act" toward a man with "mental health challenges," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a press conference following the arrests.
While on patrol Tuesday on Chicago's West Side, police officers encountered the victim, who "didn't seem right" and was in "in distress," Chicago Police Capt. Steven Sesso said at the press conference. The victim was then transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Around the same time, the suspects were taken into custody for another incident near the address where the victim was found, police said. A Chicago Police press release explained that the officers "responded to a battery at a residence ... where they discovered signs of a struggle and damage to the property and were able to link this evidence to the disoriented male."
Police determined that the individuals arrested were responsible for the "injury and maltreatment" of the victim, Capt. Sesso said.
Officials later became aware of a social media video depicting a battery of an adult male which is believed to be the same individual, police said.
Video of the alleged incident was initially posted on Facebook, but was later removed from the social media site.
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
The suspects -- two men and two women -- allegedly assaulted the victim and then broadcast it "for the entire world to see," said Supt. Johnson.
Detectives later determined that the victim had been listed as missing or endangered from a nearby suburb, said Cmdr. Kevin Duffin. Police believe the victim is an acquaintance of one of the suspects and that he went voluntarily when they then stole a van from the suburbs and brought him to Chicago, Cmdr. Duffin said. He may have been held captive for 24 to 48 hours, police said.
Police believe the suspects eventually unbound the victim and let him go. He was later released from the hospital but has been "traumatized" by the incident, Cmdr. Duffin said.
"It’s sickening," Supt. Johnson said of the video. "It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat someone like that."
The suspects, three of whom are Chicago residents, are expected to be charged in the next 24 hours, Cmdr. Duffin said. Police will determine whether kidnapping or hate crime charges will be given to the suspects, who he described as "young adults." They have all given video statements.
Police do not believe any additional suspects were involved in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
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