Four teens have been arrested after sickening footage of a young man allegedly being held hostage, beaten and tortured was live-streamed on Facebook.
Two men and two women, believed to all be aged 18, were taken into custody by Chicago police on Wednesday after authorities were made aware of the 30-minute social media video. It is believed the victim, a young man in his teens or early 20s, went to school with one of the suspects and has special needs.
The footage shows the four black people allegedly holding the white man hostage in an apartment on the 3400 block of West Lexington on Chicago’s West Side on Tuesday.
It was originally posted on Facebook Live by Brittany Herring but has since been deleted from her social media page.
The group is believed to have held the young man hostage for one to two days, and reportedly send text messages to the victim’s parents during this time – causing them to report him missing on Monday.
In the first video, the victim was seen cowering in a corner with his arms tied and mouth taped shut.
He was filmed being kicked and punched before he had his hair cut until his scalp bled.
The victim also had his clothes cut and had cigarette ash flicked over the wound on his head.
Someone can be heard in the footage yelling ‘f*** Donald Trump. F*** white people’ while the two men express their hopes that the video will go viral.
Two more clips of the alleged abuse surfaced overnight as well, one of which shows the group forcing the man to drink water out of a toilet.
‘It’s sickening,’ Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said on Wednesday night. ‘It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years, and I’ve seen things that you shouldn’t see in a lifetime, but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn’t.’
He added: ‘I’m not going to say it shocked me, but it was sickening.’
Police said the victim was treated and released from hospital into the care of his parents, who live in the suburb of Crystal Lake.
Chicago Police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said the victim was an acquaintance of one of the offenders and they had attended school together.
‘Apparently, they met out in the suburbs. These subjects then stole a van out in the suburbs and then brought him into Chicago,’ he said.
‘It is quite possible that it is a kidnapping. (The victim) is traumatized by the incident and it is a little tough to communicate with him.’
They then held him for 24 to 48 hours, before eventually letting him walk free.
The victim was found walking distressed and disoriented on a street near the apartment by police on Tuesday night around 5:30pm.
Police stopped the young man, partly because he was wearing shorts in the dead of winter.
The young man then led them to the scene where the attack happened, and police discovered signs of struggle and damage to the property.
After being made aware of the Facebook live-stream, they were able to use one of the suspects’ phones to track the four-some down.
Police arrested all four people shown in the footage and they remain in custody. Three of them are Chicago residents while the fourth is from Carpentersville.
Authorities expect to lay formal charges within the next 24 hours.
Police said it was too soon to make a determination if the attack was racially motivated.
They added that the four offenders had not said anything that led them to believe the attack was politically motivated.
‘I think some of it is just stupidity, people just ranting about something that they think might make a headline. I don’t think that at this point we have anything concrete to really point us in that direction, but we’ll keep investigating and we’ll let the facts guide us on how this concludes,’ Supt. Johnson said.