A family friend saw the cruel way Monica Hall was using a dog harness and warned that she would report her if she didn’t stop.

When Hall didn’t listen, the friend stuck to her word and notified police.

Police soon found out Hall and her boyfriend, Dennis Couch, were using the harness on Hall’s 5-year-old son, who is nonverbal and mentally disabled, according to WTVC in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The boy was tied down to the ground with a restraint made with a man’s belt, electrical tape, and the dog harness. The makeshift restraint was bolted into the floor.


The pair had been using the torture device on the child for hours at a time for the last three months. Detective Rocky Potter discussed the disgusting crime:

“When you think that you’ve heard it all or seen it all, then I get something like this. This is the first case where a restrain device was used on a child.”

The boy was found padlocked inside an empty room — with only a mattress on the floor — yelling “out, out,” when police arrived to the mobile home.

He ran to the refrigerator once he was freed, after telling deputies “hungry, hungry,” WRCB in Chattanooga reports.

Detective Potter could see the boy was familiar with the abusive device created to chain him down from the look in his eyes:

“There was a very distinct reaction when he saw me hold the harness. Fear. It was fear.”

Hall had a much different reaction when her secret was uncovered. She did not seem surprised when she saw the deputies enter her home:

“[She] put her head down and said she knew why I was there.”

Deputies made another discovery in the home — they found Couch surrounded by needles, spoons, and a white substance inside a room they believe he was using to manufacture methamphetamine.

Hall and Couch were both arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse.


Couch, who was already on probation for drug charges, also received felony charges related to manufacturing methamphetamine.

This was not the first time Hall had been questioned about her parenting. Detective Potter said:

“[The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services] has been involved with this mother and her children before. Nothing this severe. But she is in their system.”

Two more children were found in the home and were removed by the Department of Children’s Services. The three children have been placed with relatives.

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