When a Georgia police team entered a suspected drug house they tossed a flash bang grenade into a baby crib, leaving 19-month-old Bounkham Phonesavanh severely burned. The poor child was even put into a medically induced coma but fortunately he survived. But now the police department and the county do not want to pay for the medical bills related to the hospital stay.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, the original incident occurred back in May of 2014 and police say they were looking for Wanis Thometheva in connection to selling meth. It turns out the suspected wasn’t even there when cops raided the home and the family was visiting from another state. Police also never found any drugs and it’s claimed that the police department used faulty information to get a search warrant.
The boy’s mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, said the flash bang grenade landed in her son’s playpen and exploded on his pillow right in his face:
“It blew open his face and his chest. Everybody was asleep. It’s not like anyone was trying to fight.”
Months later, Alecia provided a full account of what happened that night:
“I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.
“A SWAT team blew a hole in my 2-year-old son. Flashbang grenades were created for soldiers to use during battle. When they explode, the noise is so loud and the flash is so bright that anyone close by is temporarily blinded and deafened. It’s been three weeks since the flashbang exploded next to my sleeping baby, and he’s still covered in burns.”
The damage was so severe that most of the child’s face was burned by the flag grenade. Several months later, the nicknamed “Baby Boo Boo” still had a hole in his chest where the rib were exposed. Due to the extensive injuries, the family’s medical bills continue to increase although the good news is that the child is now out of the hospital.
Habersham County is refusing to pay any of the medical expenses incurred by the SWAT team tossing the flash grenade into the crib. The county’s department explained the rationale for this decision in this release statement:
“The question before the board was whether it is legally permitted to pay these expenses. After consideration of this question following advice of counsel, the board of commissioners has concluded that it would be in violation of the law for it to do so.”
The family of Bounkham Phonesavanh has hired an attorney and is fighting this decision. Supporters are also planning on raising money to cover the medical bills with a fundraiser.
[Image via Wisconsin State Journal]