Dad: Mentally Disabled Son Unhurt in Bed-Leashing

The parents of a mentally disabled man said they meant no harm when they used a leash to keep their son from wandering out of their house at night.

The parents of Thomas Ewing, 30, said they locked his ankle to a 12-foot chain leash and secured the other end to his bed frame at about 8 p.m. Tuesday night. A welfare worker found him that way about 3 p.m. Wednesday and alerted police.

The man's father, Jerry Ewing, said his son keeps prowling about at night, prompting complaints from his White Township neighbors. Nancy Ewing said her son has the mental capacity of a 5-year-old.

"He wouldn't listen to us at all," Nancy Ewing told Tribune-Review of Greensburg. "You could tell him until you were blue in the face to stay in his room, to stay away from the neighbors, but he wouldn't listen."

State police and Indiana County District Attorney Robert Bell were still investigating the case Friday. Thomas Ewing is living elsewhere while the investigation continues, police said.

The couple told the newspaper their son wasn't hurt and was fed and given his medicine while restrained.

The couple only planned to keep the chain on "until he learned his lesson," Jerry Ewing said. "I think he knew we was trying to help him."