Botched Ohio Police Raid Leaves 17-Month-Old Baby in ICU After Injuries From Flash-Bang Grenade

Cops Raid the Wrong House, Deny Injuring the Baby

THE THIN BLUE LINE

DATELINE: ELYRIA, Ohio —  According to Elyria Mayor Kevin Brubaker, an investigation has been opened after a family said police injured their sick child while conducting a raid. 

During the raid, police claim they used two “flash-bang” devices outside of the house to divert the attention of people inside.

A woman was in the house at the time of the raid with her child. The child was on a ventilator at the time of the raid.

The woman says smoke from the flash-bang devices entered the home and caused her child to be subjected to the fumes for causing the baby to be hospitalized with what she describes as “burned eyes, burned chest, burned arm, burned neck” as well as a lack of oxygen.

Courtney Price, the toddler’s mother, spoke with FOX 8 about the incident outside the children’s hospital where she says he is a patient. Price described being handcuffed, taken outside of the home while pleading with officers to help her son.

“I kept screaming, ‘my baby, my baby! He’s on a ventilator, my baby’s in the house!’” said Price. “They told me don’t worry about my baby.”

The mother’s account of the story from a social media post:

“It’s 2pm, i am making Waylon’s bottle getting ready to feed him and then i sit down. Waylon is in his swing watching Ms. Rachel. Everything is calm & normal. In 15 seconds, everything changed. 15 seconds is all it took to flip our world upside down. 2:12pm I heard the loudest knock on the door, i expected my uncle home soon and thought he was messing with me and started walking towards the door. When i got to the top of the steps i noticed it was police and then the next thing i know the door bust open, the windows are busting out around us. I have multiple guns pointed at me and i just freeze in fear, i see my baby getting covered in smoke. 

“I was screaming “My baby, my baby, he’s on a ventilator, my baby is in here.” I was grabbed by my arm and jerked out the door and put into handcuffs. There were 20+ officers in the house. Not one had the decency to check on my baby, get the glass off him or get him out of the smoke. Every single one was evil enough to sit there and let my baby choke and gasp for air. The SWAT team had 2 medics, one listened to him with a stethoscope and said “sounds clear” my baby did not sound clear. He doesn’t sound clear on his best day much less after inhaling a bunch of chemicals. He needed 6 more liters of oxygen, his belly was retracting SO hard and his vent settings needed turned up. 

“The negligence from Elyria Police Department caused my baby to have burned eyes, burned chest, burned arm, burned neck. They caused my baby to stop breathing for a few seconds this morning. They caused my baby to struggle to breathe. They caused my baby to have to go all day without eating. They caused my baby to go through horrendous pain. Imagine a defenseless baby, laying in chemical filled smoke burning his eyes, body, lungs, heart for almost a whole hour and my baby seeing all kinds of people around but no one helping him. 

“This has changed us forever. I debated on posting these pictures, but i want everyone to know what they did. I want them to see what they did to my innocent, precious baby. No apology, no nothing. Just a ‘Sorry, wrong house.'”

On Saturday, the mother gave an update on the child’s health saying that he had been moved out of the ICU, but continues to slowly recover. You can read more and make a donation in the family’s GoFundMe here.

WKYC

The mother, Courtney Price, said Waylon was hospitalized with burns to his body, and was covered in glass and smoke. “His diagnosis is chemical pneumonitis from the chemicals in the flash-bang,” Price said.

Waylon, who was born premature and has pulmonary hypertension — a severe lung disease — and an atrial septal defect — which is a hole in the heart, was in his swing on the floor by the window. Glass got on him when the windows blew out, Price said.

“We moved up here for a fresh start. A lot of my family’s here, I just had a baby, and I’m a single mom,” Price explained. “My son has just worked so hard for his whole life to get where he’s at and extra trauma and these extra setbacks, there’s just no reason this should have happened.”

“The baby is now in the ICU. He’s got burns all over him, inside of his lungs are burned,” said Reida Jennings, who rents the home raided by police. “He’s already a special-needs baby. He’s a trach baby. He was on his ventilator, they let the baby lay there for about 35 to 45 minutes in the smoke.”

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✱ Elyria police released a statement denying the allegations from the woman saying the child was not hurt in the incident and that the raid was conducted on the correct house. 

✱ Elyria Mayor Kevin Brubaker asks that you join him in sending thoughts and prayers.

✱ ELYRIA is about an 80 minute drive from Youngstow on what they call the Northwest route.

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