Le Xiong was arrested at Logan International Airport about 45 minutes before he and his father, Ping Xiong, were to board a flight to Detroit. They were booked for a later flight to Hong Kong, state police and an airport spokesman told the Boston Globe.
"I know he was going to bring him back to China, but I don't have the reason why," said Capt. John O'Leary, a police spokesman. O'Leary added there is no evidence that the son intended to harm his father.
Xiong pleaded not guilty to a charge of kidnapping a person in custody and was held in lieu of $25,000 in bail, said a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating.
Police say they have no motive for the son taking his 68-year-old father, who cannot swallow.