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Student from Brighton Park beaten, choked, tied up by boyfriend: prosecutors

Kelly High School | Alex Arriaga

Kelly High School | Alex Arriaga

A 21-year-old man from Joliet has been charged with abusing his girlfriend — a student from the Brighton Park neighborhood — after he allegedly tied her up, choked and beat her.

Juan Ortiz is charged with aggravated domestic battery, unlawful restraint and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Cook County prosecutors.

The alleged abuse began Thursday when Ortiz and his 17-year-old girlfriend began arguing at a home in Joliet, prosecutors said. Ortiz struck her multiple times in the face with an open hand.

The girl fell to the floor and Ortiz choked her with two hands to the point she couldn’t breath for about 20 seconds, according to prosecutors. Ortiz then grabbed the girl’s car keys and left.

Later that day, the two argued again. Ortiz allegedly struck the girl in the face and head, and dragged her by her hair from the living room to the dining room, prosecutors said. Ortiz then bound the girl to a chair, tying her ankles and wrists. He grabbed a knife from the kitchen and held it to the girl’s neck, threatening to kill her.

Juan Ortiz | Chicago police

Juan Ortiz | Chicago police

Ortiz told her she couldn’t leave and used scissors to cut off a piece of her hair, according to prosecutors. He knocked her to the floor and cut free her arms and legs. The two spent the night there, and the girl—having suffered bruising and swelling to her face—felt trapped.

The girl convinced Ortiz the next day to let her drive to school in Brighton Park, prosecutors said. Ortiz insisted that he come too, and he drove her first to a McDonald’s. From there, the girl drove them to her school and instructed Ortiz to wait in the car while she entered the school alone. Once inside, the girl told her school counselor about the abuse.

Officers showed up and arrested Ortiz shortly after 10 a.m. in the 2700 block of West 41st Street, near Thomas Kelly High School, Chicago police said.

Judge Mary C. Marubio ordered Ortiz be held without bail during a hearing Saturday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.