Tennessee couple accused of harnessing child with special needs to floor

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Monica Hall, Dennis Couch/ Rhea County Sheriff's Deparment

DAYTON, Tenn. — A Tennessee couple is facing serious charges after they allegedly used a dog harness to bolt a non-verbal 5-year-old with special needs to the floor.

Monica Hall and her boyfriend, Dennis Couch, were charged with aggravated child abuse after authorities received a tip this week the child was being abused.

When detectives searched the home, they said they found enough evidence to arrest the couple on the spot.

It appears, they said, that the boy had been kept in the harness for hours at a time for the past three months.

“There was a very distinct reaction when he saw me hold the harness,” Detective Rocky Potter told KTVC. “Fear. It was fear.”

There were two other children in the home at the time.

All three were removed from the home by child services and placed with a relative.

The agency said they have been involved with this family before, but wouldn’t divulge any other information.

Both suspects are scheduled to be in court in August.