Update: This story has struck a nerve because it clearly shows a horrible consequence to yet another example of several no-knock raids we have outlined in the past several months.
In the interim here is some information we have gathered after a few phone calls:
The “no knock” raid took place at the suspects mothers house, not his. This specific residence has never been a drug house, never identified as a high risk house, and has never been the subject of any prior law enforcement engagement. [*NOTE* the police dispute this, but it should be easy enough to verify]
The suspect being sought on the warrant, Wanis Thometheva (aged 30), did not live there, nor was the address his known or listed address on any current or previous identification over the past five years. [should be easy enough to verify]
The police were told by an “unknown and unnamed informant”, that Wanis Thometheva lived there (that is the position of the police). However, he did not.
Wanis Thometheva was arrested later at his listed residence.
The local Sheriff has publically stated there were no weapons or drugs found in the house that was raided under the warrant. [*NOTE* Another media report reflects the Sheriff saying they found “residue” – again this should be easy enough to verify] The visiting family, little “Bou Bou” Phonesavanhs, his three older sisters and both parents, were asleep in the room (garage conversion) while visiting from Wisconsin.
Only the little boy was injured. He is 19 months old.
The family is from Wisconsin where their home was recently destroyed in a house fire. The father of the little boy is the brother of the suspects mother. The 19 month old victim and the suspect named on the warrant are cousins. In essence the family were staying with the little boys aunt.
The family was due to go back to Wisconsin later the same morning the incident took place. Their car was packed in preparation for them leaving later that morning.
This is a seriously horrific situation that could easily have been avoided if the investigative unit had done a better job investigating the residence prior to execution of a 3am “no knock” warrant.
The bottom line is if they had staked out the house, or done even a modicum of investigation, they would have identified the children, the activity, and the families presence. If they were sure enough for a warrant – how could they NOT know another family and children were present. Did they even visit the house before the 3am raid?
TROUBLING – The “informant” who gave the police the information, was previously arrested on drug charges and was looking to get their charges dropped or reduced. The “informant” had their own children removed as an outcome of their arrest. In other words the “anonymous” informant had a vested interest in any presentation, even false information, in their own best interest.
[*NOTE* Initially the Sheriff Dept. stated it was an undercover narcotics officer who alerted them. That statement apparently changed to an “anonymous informant” when the media interest picked up.]
We’re still seeking details, and after a better understanding of the facts we’ll seek public records to capture the actual wording of the warrant as well as identify the judge who signed off on it. (more will follow)
Here’s a link to a donation page to support the families immediate needs –CLICK HERE–
In the interim, PRAY. This little guy’s life is touch-n-go, the family can use our prayers.
(Via NYDN) A 19-month-old boy is fighting for his life after a SWAT team threw a stun grenade into his crib during an overnight home raid, the toddler’s family says.
Police were looking for Wanis Thometheva, who sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer Tuesday evening, police said. But when the team raided his Georgia home, the Phonesavanh family was inside — not Thometheva.
The Phonesavanhs, visiting Habersham County after a fire at their Wisconsin home, were sleeping when officers entered around 3 a.m. Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Police tossed a distraction grenade through the door. It landed on 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh’s pillow.
Alecia Phonesavanh and her family were visiting Georgia from Wisconsin.
Bou Bou suffered serious burns and is now in a medically induced coma. (read more)