U.S.

Grenade Used In Police Drug Raid Puts Ga. Toddler In Coma

The 19-month-old boy was badly burned after police accidentally threw a grenade into his crib during a drug raid.

Grenade Used In Police Drug Raid Puts Ga. Toddler In Coma
WSB-TV
SMS

A 19-month-old Georgia boy remains in the hospital in a medically induced coma after a flash grenade landed in his crib during a police drug raid. 

"That's my baby, you know? He's only a baby. He didn't deserve any of this. I'm trying so hard to keep it together."

WGCL reports police had gone to the Atlanta area home to arrest a relative suspected of dealing meth. Police sent an undercover informant to buy drugs from a man at the house. After successfully buying meth from the man, police obtained a warrant to later arrest him.

Police say when they went to arrest the man suspected of dealing drugs, they noticed something blocking the door they were trying to open. That's when they threw a flash grenade — not knowing there were any children inside. (Via WXIA)

Although police say the boy's crib was blocking the side-entry door, the family's attorney told WAGA that wasn't the case.

"The crib was at least 6 or 7 feet away from the door. There was no reason that the family would put a child's crib against the door. It's illogical."

The case has brought attention to the controversial "no-knock warrant" commonly used during drug arrests. It allows officers to enter a home unannounced with permission from a judge. 

WSB-TV did a follow-up story after the incident looking at what police call the importance of these types of raids. A former Atlanta SWAT team member says they're normally used in two types of instances: " ... to prevent destruction of evidence, and of course, if there is a circumstance that suggests an officer safety issue."

A policing expert at Georgia State University told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "the problem is you come up with consequences like this."

Still, police say they are devastated by what happened. The local county sheriff told ABC: "It felt like somebody just hit me in the gut with a sledgehammer when I heard. ... That’s pretty much how the rest of the guys on our team felt."

The family recently moved to the Atlanta area to stay with relatives after their house in Wisconsin burned down. The family told WSB-TV they don't have insurance, so a family friend has set up a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $20,000 for medical expenses.