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Police burn toddler over $50 drug deal

Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, age 19 months
Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, age 19 months

Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, 19 months, is fighting for his life thanks to a SWAT grenade tossed into his crib. A confidential informant claimed that a drug deal went down at the toddler’s home earlier that day with Wanis Thometheva, who sold him methamphetamine. Police acting on the tip activated a special multi-jurisdictional Georgia SWAT team to execute a no-knock warrant — all for a $50 drug deal.

On Thursday, May 29 around 3 a.m., the team went into action and went to the home also shared by the Phonesavanh family who lived in a converted garage. It was at that time that the police say they rolled a stun grenade into the room from a side door. However, the family has stated that police are lying. In fact, they contend the grenade was thrown into a room full of sleeping adults and children and landed in the toddler’s playpen-crib. The grenade caused third-degree burns and a deep gash in the child’s chest. The child is at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in critical condition fighting for his life.

The family and its supporters are furious over the incident. The suspect in the case, Thometheva, was the son of the landlord and the family had nothing to do with him. Police contend that they had the house under surveillance for several weeks and they saw no evidence of children or toys. But the family stated that there are toys and shoes all over their little space and they don’t know how the police could have missed this fact.

Bringing further into doubt the diligence of police involved was the fact that Thometheva was not even in the home. He was later arrested at another house along with three other people for distribution of methamphetamine according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

The family of the child does not have health insurance, so an online fundraising campaign has been set up to help with medical expenses.

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