TODAY   |  October 21, 2013

N.M. youth ranch owner responds to abuse allegations

After a group of teenagers went missing from a New Mexico ranch for troubled youths, owner Scott Chandler told TODAY’s Matt Lauer that parents who sign over guardianship to him understand that restraints could be used in extreme cases.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> half hour with a ranch for troubled youth that finds itself now in the spotlight and under investigation. in a moment we'll talk exclusively to the owner of that ranch, but first, here's nbc's kristen dahlgren.

>> between 80 and $150 a day dozens of families sent their children to tierra blanca ranch.

>> we'll work with you.

>> reporter: run since 1994 by scott chandler .

>> he made it seem like there was hope there and my son was going to do great there.

>> reporter: she says what her son got there was abuse.

>> they had to run miles and run for hours. and there was no counseling at all. none.

>> reporter: ryan morgan was too emotional to talk about his alleged beating at the ranch.

>> knuckling him right in the forehead repetively over and over again.

>> reporter: but other teens paint a much different picture.

>> in my 6 1/2 years of being there i never seen anything like that.

>> reporter: chandler denied the allegations on october 10th .

>> this is blown out of proportion.

>> reporter: but after that investigators went there with a search warrant and the chance to take him down. chandler and nineteens were gone and they were found safe with their parents but no charges are pending and the investigation into alleged abuse continues.

>> the search warrant revealed evidence that i can't tell you what it was but did corroborate with the allegations of the boys.

>> reporter: leading the court to decide who is telling the truth and whether tierra blanca should be shutdown for sure.