SANTA ANA ( — A mother of three was arrested Thursday after her 10-year-old son was found lying in the courtyard of his family’s apartment complex with his ankles in padlocked chains, police said.

A witness reportedly found the child near the 700 block of S. Lyon St., where he was crying and leaning against a tree with a chain wrapped multiple times around his ankles and secured with a padlock.

When asked how the chain was wrapped around him, the boy reportedly said “my mom did this to me.” He also told the witness he had difficulty standing and walking and needed help.

The boy’s mother, Irma Navarro, reportedly told police she was having disciplinary issues with her son and put him in chains so that he would not get into trouble while she was at work. An investigation found that one of Navarro’s other children was with a babysitter and the other at school.

Police removed the chain with bolt cutters. An officer noticed redness and slight bruising around the boy’s ankles. He also complained of pain in both of his legs.

Navarro was taken to Santa Ana Jail where she was booked on charges of willful cruelty to a child. All three of her children have been placed in protective custody.

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