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Toddler severely burned by grenade during drug raid

baby burnedA family says a SWAT team raided their home in the middle of the night and seriously injured a 19-month-old boy with a stun grenade.

Authorities in Atlanta were serving a no-knock warrant in the middle of the night after previously buying drugs from a resident who they say was known to have drugs and weapons.

Alecia Phonesavanh told WSBTV that police threw a stun grenade in her son’s crib, causing severe burns which landed the toddler in a medically induced coma at the hospital burn unit.

Phonesavanh said she was at her sister-in-law’s home in Habersham County early Wednesday when police raided the house.

“It landed in his playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face,” Phonesavanh said.

“He’s in the burn unit. We go up to see him and his whole face is ripped open. He has a big cut on his chest,” Phonesavanh said. “He’s only 19 months old. He didn’t do anything.”

Cornelia police Chief Rick Darby confirmed that the raid took place at the home just before 3 a.m. He said a multijurisdictional drug unit issued a warrant and organized the SWAT operation.

“There was no clothes, no toys, nothing to indicate that there was children present in the home. If there had been then we’d have done something different,” Darby said.

Wanis Thometheva, 30, was arrested during the raid.

No word on what, if any, drugs were found.

Darby told Channel 2’s Wendy Corona that the entire unit is very broken up about the incident.

“You’re trying to minimize anything that could go wrong and in this case the greatest thing went wrong,” Darby said. “Is it going to make us be more careful in the next one? Yes ma’am, it is. It’s gonna make us double question.”

The Phonesavanh family told Young they have no insurance and have set up a fund to pay for medical expenses.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a 30 year old journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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5 Comments

  1. […] Toddler severely burned by grenade during drug raid. […]

  2. May 30, 2014 at 6:50 am

    there are no words for this horrific incident…. what reason is there for a no knock warrant EXCEPT to instill fear and thuggery. If the police are not competent enough to knock on a door and serve a warrant like they used to… then they have no business be in law enforcement. They are not thugs… we are not the enemy in some type of imaginary war on the people while the police play war games….
    Fire all of them, sue them personally and strip the officers and their supervisors and the commissioners who signed off on these policies and procedures and start with new citizens who will treat the people they have jurisdiction over with respect and dignity.

  3. May 30, 2014 at 9:56 am

    This entire country – at least in red states – has become a police state with bullies (thugs ) using badges & guns to terrorize citizens for the most obscure reasons or none at all . The mentally ill misfits allowed to serve in law enforcement now is part of the reason people are stockpiling weapons & ammo -serve & protect from Dragnet days has become terrorize , beat & kill . Shameful we live in fear of the supposed ‘ good guys ‘ now – have we become like Russia ?

  4. Tucker Coffey
    May 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    This is utterly horrific… That makes me sick. This family should pursue legal action. Police do not deserve a pardon for harming an innocent child regardless of the circumstances. Do SOME research before you raid a place. I mean YOU ARE THE POLICE for crying out loud. You are here to SERVE and PROTECT the people of this country.

  5. […] used against small drug possession offenders, primarily marijuana consumers. This past month police burned a baby after throwing a flash grenade into his crib during a no-knock raid for […]