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SWAT Commando Raid On Wrong House Leads To $1 Million Medical Bill for Toddler Hurt by Stun Grenade

Bounkham Phonesavanh Jr., known as "Bou Bou," (Courtesy Phonesavanh Family).
By Alison Lynn and Matt Gutman
Alecia and Bounkham Phonesavanh never imagined their family would be at the center of a controversy over the militarization of police. But that’s exactly where they found themselves when their toddler was seriously injured by a SWAT team, also leaving them with a $1 million medical bill they have no hope of paying.

“They messed up,” Alecia Phonesavanh told ABC News' "20/20." “They had a faulty search warrant. They raided the wrong house.”

In the spring of 2014, the Phonesavanh’s home in Janesville, Wisconsin, was destroyed by fire. Homeless with four young children, they packed one of their last remaining possessions – their minivan – and drove 850 miles to the home of Bounkham’s sister in Cornelia, Georgia. 
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The family crowded into a former garage converted into a bedroom: parents Bounkham and Alecia, 7-year-old Emma, 5-year-old Mali, 3-year-old Charlie and 18-month-old Bounkham Jr., known as “Bou Bou.” It was a tight squeeze but only temporary. After two months the family had found a new house in Wisconsin and was planning to return home.
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At approximately 2 a.m. May 28, the family awakened to a blinding flash and loud explosion in their bedroom. A Special Response Team (aka SWAT team) from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office burst unannounced into the bedroom where they were sleeping. According to police reports, Habersham Deputy Charles Long threw a “flash-bang” grenade – a diversionary device used by police and military – into the room. It landed in Bou Bou’s pack-and-play.
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“Bou Bou started screaming,” recalls Alecia Phonesavanh. “I immediately went to grab him.”

But Alecia says Habersham Deputy Jason Stribling picked up the child before she could reach him. “I kept telling him, ‘Just give me my son. He's scared. He needs me. The officer wouldn't. And then he walked out of the room with [Bou Bou] and I didn't see him again.”

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Nigeria Under Siege By Boko Haram 'Islamists': 32 Killed in Northeast — 185 More Women and Children Kidnapped, Land Seized

A Nigerian court martial sentences 54 soldiers to death for mutiny for refusing to deploy.

News of the attack to days to get out because the local telephone towers were destroyed. (Illustration screen captured from YouTube video)
News of the attack to days to get out because the local telephone towers were
destroyed. (Illustration screen captured from YouTube video)
Boko Haram militants killed 32 people and kidnapped 185 of others, including women and children, in a brutal attack on a village in the northeast area of Nigeria, officials and a witness said on Thursday.

In neighbouring Cameroon, the Islamic extremists launched a raid on army base in the border town of Amchide, but were repelled in a fierce gun battle with troops that left 116 insurgents dead, according to Cameroon's defence ministry.

Separately, a Nigerian court martial late Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an operation against Boko Haram, blaming a lack of weapons and other equipment.

The court martial underscored the struggles Nigeria's military has faced in containing the five-year Islamist uprising. Civilians complain that they are left defenceless by troops who are often absent when the militants attack.

The insurgents, fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, have seized large swathes of territory in the northeast, while cross-border violence has spread in recent months, forcing more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

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