A baby has been injured following a police raid in Ohio that the boy’s mother said was targeted at the home’s former tenant.
Waylon Price, the 17-month-old child, is currently in the pediatric wing of University Hospitals in Cleveland âfollowing the incident in which officials from the Elyria Police Department deployed two flash-bangs.
Courtney Price, the child’s mother, told cleveland.com that smoke immediately surrounded the infant but she was unable to take care of him because she was taken into custody. He was on a ventilator at the time.
“I kept yelling for my baby,” she said. “The officers were in the home, searching the home. The baby was clearly laying there suffocating, turning red, blue and they all just walked by him. Nobody went to him.”
The baby boy has pre-existing medical conditions and was born prematurely. Mr Price relayed that information to the officers, the outlet reported. He’s since been diagnosed with chemical pneumonitis, has burns all over his body and is struggling to breathe, the woman said.
The incident happened on Wednesday around 2.15pm. Mr Price had driven up from Kentucky to stay with her family so her son could undergo treatment at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children.
Both her and the infant were inside the residence in the 300 block of Parmely Avenue when officers executed a search warrant at the home.
The flash-bangs were activated outside of the home. Police said diversionary devices do not produce a continuous burn and they do not deploy or contain any pepper gas or chemical agent, the outlet reported.
In a news release, the Elyria Police Special Response Team said the address was the correct one on the warrant, which was authorised in connection with an ongoing investigation.
Additionally, the department said officials examined the child for any apparent injuries and determined at the time that the baby boy had not been harmed. The department added that any allegations or lack of medical attention are false.
Redia Jennings, Ms Price’s aunt, said officers have repeatedly come to her property looking for a suspect she believes was the previous tenant. The aunt has been in the residence ever since February 2023.
“There’s been five different occasions that detectives and CPS and officers have showed up at my house looking for (the suspect). They’ve been told numerous times he does not live here,” she said.
Speaking to cleveland.com, Ms Price said she wants the department to acknowledge their mistake.
“They’re trying to cover it up,” she told the outlet. “At least an apology, something. We have no apology. We had no nothing. They never asked how the baby was.
“They’re denying anything ever happened.”
The investigation in connection with the warrant remains ongoing.