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Centralia man holds neighbors against will, makes them do chores, police say

CENTRALIA, Wash. — He wanted them to know what it felt like to be slaves, the 15-year-old boy told police.

The family hadn’t talked to their neighbor much before, Centralia Police Detective John Panco said. That changed Wednesday, when they were allegedly held against their will and ordered to do chores, he said.

It all started about 7 a.m. in the 1300 block of Lum Road.

Panco and court documents gave this account:

A 12-year-old boy walked to his family’s truck in front of their house. His mother was going to drive him and his two siblings, a 13-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy, to school.

The neighbor, a 6-foot-2, 250 pound man walked outside and told the boy to “come here.” The boy started in that direction but then hesitated. That’s when the neighbor snatched him up by his coat and carried him to his house.

The man told the boy to call his father. The boy asked him how he was supposed to do that and argued for a minute. The man elbowed him in the cheek and told the boy to clean the yard and sweep.

Some time later, the boy’s brother, sister and mother came to the man’s house looking for the missing boy. The man refused to let them leave and ordered them to do chores as well. He made them pick up trash and stack firewood. At one point he told them all to stand at attention and sing the national anthem, Panco said.

After about an hour, the man left the house and walked across the street. That’s when the girl called police and the family escaped.

Police arrived and took the man into custody. He was booked on one count of kidnapping and four counts of unlawful imprisonment.

The 15-year-old told police that the man, who is African American, told them they were the reason he had been a slave and now they knew what it was like to be slaves. Court documents identify the family as Latino American.