A Rockdale man kept his 56-year-old relative chained up inside a makeshift bedroom in his basement because he kept running away from home, police said.
About 9:30 a.m. Friday, officers conducted a welfare check on a man who was reportedly chained up in the basement of a residence in the 700 block of Central Avenue, Rockdale police said in a Facebook post.
Officers discovered a man in the basement of the residence chained by his ankle to a pole, police said.
Rockdale Police Chief Robert Dykstra said the alleged victim is a relative of Dwayne Ned Jones, 59. He said Jones kept the man chained up because he had psychiatric issues and a history of repeatedly running away from home.
He said Jones “decided this was the appropriate away to prevent him from running away.”
The man’s previous caretaker, another relative, died a few weeks ago and Jones became his new caretaker, Dykstra said. Police said the man had about three feet of movement while he was chained.
When the officers responded to the scene, Jones agreed to let them check out the basement but he went down first to unshackle his relative, Dykstra said.
“He was trying to get him unchained real quick,” he said.
The officers stopped Jones from unlocking the chain and took him into temporary custody, he said. Jones then gave the officers the keys and his relative was freed, he said.
Dykstra described the space where the man was found as a small makeshift bedroom.
He said there was a small, empty refrigerator, a mattress with a pillow and blanket but no sheets on the concrete floor, and a milk jug the alleged victim used to urinate in. He said the area around the mattress was covered in urine.
“It’s disturbing,” Dykstra said.
He said Jones’ wife and their adult children were inside the house as well and they were told the relative was chained in the basement to prevent him from running away.
The man had been chained for about two weeks, Dykstra said. He was taken to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for treatment of scarring to his ankle, he said.
The man is also receiving psychiatric treatment at the hospital, Dykstra said.
Jones admitted to the officers that he knew what he was doing was wrong but he didn't know what else to do, Dykstra said.
Jones was arrested by officers on probable cause of domestic battery and unlawful restraint, according to police.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Friday, Jones was booked into the Will County jail but was released the next day after he posted 10% of his $75,000 bond, records show.