Web Extra: Georgia Toddler in Induced Coma After Being Hurt by Police Grenade

NBC News -- A 19-month-old boy remained in critical condition in an induced coma at an Atlanta hospital Friday after authorities trying to capture a suspected meth dealer threw a flash grenade into the baby's crib.

The toddler, Bounkham Phonesavanh — known as Bou — was in intensive care at Grady Memorial Hospital with severe burns after police and sheriff's deputies raided a home in Cornelia, Georgia, in Habersham County about 75 miles northeast of Atlanta, early Wednesday.

"My husband and I would both gladly give up our lives just to see him not like this, you know? He's such a happy little boy, and to see him laying there not moving, it's heartbreaking," Bou's mother, Alecia Phonesavanh, told reporters.

"We just want to hold him, and we can't," Phonesavanh said before breaking down and burying her head in her hands.

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell told NBC station WXIA of Atlanta that there was no indication that a family with four children were in the home of Wanis Thonetheva, a relative with whom they were staying because their Wisconsin home had recently burned down.

Thonetheva, who is listed in public records as being 20 years old, wasn't home at the time of the raid. He was arrested later and held in the Habersham County jail on $15,000 bond on a charge of possession of methamphetamine.

The sheriff's department didn't answer a call for comment late Friday, and after the department was the focus of numerous online threats and denunciations, contact links on its website didn't work Friday night.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News