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Toddler flash grenade victim: Blows up in child’s face during cop raid

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A toddler was severely burned from a flash grenade that was thrown by law enforcement into a Georgia home during a raid. The toddler was in his playpen sleeping just inside the door that was used to toss the grenade into the house, according to Fox News on May 30.

The police were looking for a drug suspect that was thought to be inside the home were the raid was conducted. Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell said that the law enforcement officers were looking for a suspect that may have been armed.

Throwing that flash grenade into the house was in accordance with proper police procedure. The authorities did not know there was a toddler in the home at the time the raid.

According to MSN News , the 19-monfh old boy's mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told the local media that her son was sleeping in his playpen when the grenade came through the door on Wednesday morning, signaling the beginning of the raid.

The mother said the cops threw the grenade in without looking and it landed in the playpen with her son. It landed right on his pillow and then it exploded in his face, the mom said.

The toddler is burned so badly that he remains in a medically induced coma. His face was severely burned from this close-up explosion of he grenade. Phonesavanh said that she was staying in this Georgia house with family.

The mother and her children, including the toddler, came to stay with these relatives after a fire in their Wisconsin home burned the house to the ground. Officials said if they had any indication that there were children in the home they would have used another door and not used a flash grenade.

The police were granted a "no-knock" warrant on the house because the suspect they were after, Wani Thonetheva, 30, had a prior arrest that involved drugs and guns. Terrell said they were there to arrest Thonetheva on a warrant after he sold meth to an informant at the house.

Law Enforcement had the information that the the suspect was living in the Cornelia, Georgia house with his mother. Cornelia is about 80 miles northeast of Atlanta.

The toddler's mother told police that she was aware that drugs were being sold at the house, but she kept her kids away from the drugs and any activity involving the drugs.

The police smashed the door in using a ram and then threw in the grenade. When they entered the house, they saw the child in the playpen pushed up against the back of the door. A team of medics immediately took charge of the child and got him to a hospital in Atlanta.

The suspect wasn't home, but police found methamphetamine residue and paraphernalia in his room. He was arrested a few hours later at another known location the police had for him. He charged with distribution of meth and he's being held on $15,000 on Friday.

The officers involved in this raid are "very upset" over the child's injuries. The police officers have been getting death threats over this incident.