Two men are accused of holding a 15-year-old boy hostage for a week and beating him, but some family members of the victim are defending the suspects.
Police say the teen's father and godfather handcuffed the teen on June 16 in an Albany Park business before a third man set him free Monday. The boy says he was also given cold ice showers, beaten and given very little food to eat.
Jose Quilabaqui, 40, and Carlos Quizhpi, 53, are both charged with kidnapping and secret confinement. They each were ordered held on $90,000 bail during a Friday court appearance.
A cousin of the family, Diana Bermeo, told NBC Chicago that the men took the drastic measures after the teen stole money from them and started running with a bad crowd.
"It started with gang affiliation with drugs and stuff," Bermeo said. "My uncle, to protect him, he did what he could to prevent him from going out at night and avoiding him from dying on the street."
After he was set free, the teen fled to the home of his older brother, who called 911.
"It's all over the newspapers that he's the monster. He's not, he was just trying to protect his own kid," Bermeo said.
"They did what they had to do -- tie him up, but he recognizes himself that he's wrong too, but there's not much that he can do because he's in jail, and now my cousin is making it look like he's the innocent one."
The teen is staying with his older brother.