A police raid in Georgia has left a 19-month-old boy clinging to life after a flash bang exploded in his face.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police stormed the Cornelia, Ga. home early Wednesday in search of 30-year-old Wanis Thometheva, who was wanted for methamphetamine distribution. Thometheva wasn't home at the time, and Habersham County police officers approached a door where a confidential informant had allegedly purchased drugs from him.
Behind the door was a garage that had been transformed into a bedroom, and officers threw a flash bang inside, unaware that Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanhs, his parents, and three older sisters were asleep in the room. The device landed in the boy's playpen, and, according to his mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, "blew open his face and his chest."
Bou Bou, the only person injured, is currently in a medically induced coma at Grady Memorial Hospital. He's been given a 50 percent chance of survival, and his parents told the Journal-Constitution that it could take weeks before any updates on his status. What's truly distressing is that the family, who was visiting from Wisconsin, was only staying in Georgia for the moment because a fire damaged their home. They also had nothing to do with the search for Thometheva.
Police eventually arrested Thometheva on drug charges. Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell, who said the hearts of his officers are "broken [with the family] because of the child," defended their actions. "There was no malicious act performed," he told the Journal-Constitution. "It was a terrible accident that was never supposed to happen."
Send tips, photos and news developments to firstname.lastname@example.org.