A 19-month-old boy is in critical condition after suffering severe burns to his face and upper body during a SWAT raid at his home.
The family of Bounkham Phonesavanh says a SWAT team raided their Habersham County home in the middle of the night early Wednesday. A SWAT member tossed a flash grenade into the home without looking. The grenade bounced into the baby’s playpen and exploded in his face.
“It’s my baby. He’s only a baby. He didn’t deserve any of this,” Alecia Phonesavanh told Channel 2’s Ryan Young.
“Everyone’s sleeping. There’s a loud bang and a bright light,” Phonesavanh said. “The cops threw that grenade in the door without looking first and it landed right in the playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face.”
Phonesavanh shared photos of the baby’s severe burn injuries with Young.
“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.”
Young declined to air the photos during his TV news segment due to the graphic nature of the toddler’s injuries.
Cornelia Police Chief Rick Darby confirmed to Channel 2 Action News that the raid took place just before 3 a.m. Wednesday. He said a no-knock arrest warrant was issued for someone in the home after deputies said they bought drugs from the house earlier.
Darby told Channel 2’s Wendy Corona that the entire unit is very broken up about the incident.
The Phonesavanh family told Young they have no insurance and have set up a fund to pay for medical expenses.
Photos special to wsbtv.com
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