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Ga. toddler burned, critically hurt by flash grenade during drug raid

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ATLANTA — Officers raiding a home in Georgia in search of an alleged drug suspect used a flash grenade not knowing children were inside, severely burning a toddler, the family told WSB-TV.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell said officers were searching for a suspect who “may have been armed,” adding officers “followed proper procedure.”

“(The toddler) is in a medically induced coma and he is paralyzed. I hope he’s not going to remember this. I know his sisters, his mommy and his daddy will never forget this,” the boy’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told WSB-TV.

Phonesavanh said he was sleeping in his playpen when the raid began.

“It’s a tragic incident,” Terrell said. “The baby didn’t deserve this.”

Phonesavanh said the cops threw the grenade at the door “without looking” and it landed in the playpen, exploding on the child’s pillow, according to WSB-TV.

A flash grenade creates a bright flash and loud bang to distract suspects.

Cornelia Police Chief Rick Darby said the officers are distraught over what happened and have been receiving death threats.

Source: WSB-TV


  • Bobby

    This poor child. Why and who gave permission to throw a flash bang in a house that had not be staked out. They had no idea who was in the house and who was not obviously. Protect and Serve!

  • Happy Happy Happy

    Nobodys fault here but the parents or guardians of this child…….play with fire, your going to get burned and unfortunately, innocent people are the ones who usually end up hurt!

    • Hatter

      Happy Happy Happy, you are a FOOL. This is no one’s fault except the idiot cops who threw a flash grenade in the house not knowing who was in there. That poor little child is completely innocent and the cops didn’t care at all who they hurt, innocent or not.

      • m.f.

        So tired of people blaming police and never say a word about the parents who put their children in a situation where there could be violence it is the parents responsibility to insure their child’s safety and the best way to do so is to not have your children around people commuting crimes how about teach them right by doing right its not the officers fault and shame on you for saying any different.

      • H

        No, shame on you for being as heartless a fool as “happy happy happy”. The idiot cops were supposed to know better than to pull a stupid stunt like that not knowing who they might injure or kill. We all know there are terrible parents in the world, but we should be able to count on the cops to at least use some common sense. They are no better than the parents. Worse even.

      • Angel

        Hatter is Right!!!! Its the police’s fault!!!! They should have done more to make dang sure that the scene was secure, and not put a child, or anyone else in danger!!! There was NOTHING said about the person they were searching for actually being in that house!!!! Its time for the POLICE to PAY FOR THERE MISTAKE, AND TIME TO RETRAIN THEM ON HOW TO DO A RAID!!!! THE POLICE ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL, AND SHOULD SPEND TIME BEHIND BARS FOR THIS CRIME!!!!! NOTHING LESS!!!!!

  • Tammi Miller

    How is this the parent’s fault? The article said they were looking for a POSSIBLE suspect, Not that anyone in the house was actually guilty. This is a tragic accident that never should have happened!

    • Gale Springsteen

      You are so right Tammi Miller. People are ready to judge these parents who had nowhere to go after their house burned down; so they moved in with family. Maybe they should have just lived on the street? These parents have a long road to travel so don’t be so judgmental. You don’t know what you would do if this happened to you.

  • Joyce

    They had good cause to believe the “suspect” was in this house, so these adults/parents in this home are not innocent. The baby didn’t deserve to be with parents who would put him in harms way in the vicinity of drugs and those responsible for the drugs.

  • Tracy

    It is what it is, retard parents living a drug life with children. Police have to emotionally detach when they are out there doing what they are paid to do. Suck it up losers, blame the role models.


    Guess the kid need to find a better class of parents HEY !! They will tell you we put the kid with other family members to help the child !! What they will not tell you is the other family members are WORSE !!

  • JohnM

    The police are out of control.. they should be charged with this crime,,,A suspect is just that innocent

  • WB Ryan

    Cops love doing raids. They would rather do a raid for the adrenaline rush than just wait for the “drug suspect” to leave the house. Really, there’s no justification for armed raids of a home or apartment unless someone is being held hostage. These routine swat raids have to stop!

  • Tammu

    Parents should never put their children in situations like this were the children could get hurt. It’s as simple as that!! You can take chances with your life if that’s what you want to do but you have no right doing that to your children.

  • Justice

    You people are stupid! If cops were innocent and doing their job right, they should stake out the house for days and realize kids are there and the “suspect” isn’t even home! If this child was yours, how would u feel ? Just cause this didn’t happen to you, you have some nerves to judge. This is not the parents fault, this is the cops fault. They need better training and need to spend some time behind bars. Crooked . Prayers to the baby, may have a full and speedy recovery

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