A woman was arrested Thursday after her 10-year-old son was found with a chain locked around his ankles, crying and in pain, Santa Ana police said.
Police were called about 11:40 a.m. for a welfare check at an apartment complex in the 700 block of S. Lyon St., where they found the boy lying on the ground in the courtyard with a long aluminum chain wrapped four to five times around his ankles with a padlock fixed to it.
The chain had to be clipped with bolt cutters. Officers said they noticed slight bruising and redness around the child's ankles.
The boy said his mother, Irma Jacobo Navarro, had shackled him before she left him home alone and went to work.
Navarro told police she was having disciplinary problems with her son and placed him in chains while she was away because he would often leave the home without permission and not return home until after dark.
Navarro has two other children, one who was with a babysitter and another who was at school at the time, police said.
Navarro was booked for willful cruelty to a child.
All three children were placed into protective custody by social services.