A mother has claimed police raided the “wrong house” and deployed diversionary flash-bang devices that injured her 17-month-old son – leaving the infant in hospital with burns.
Police have offered a different account of what happened – saying they executed a search warrant at the correct address and the child was not harmed during the operation.
But Courtney Price shared an audio clip from her doorbell camera with Sky’s US partner NBC News which she says proves otherwise.
In the recording, someone can be heard saying: “It’s the wrong house”. It is unclear who made the remark.
The warrant was issued for a teenager who no longer lives at the property which is rented by Ms Price’s aunt and uncle – who have no connection to the suspect, NBC News reported.
Kevin A Brubaker, mayor of Elyria, Ohio, called the 10 January incident “serious and disturbing” and has ordered an investigation.
He released body camera footage on Tuesday night which showed police officers pounding the front door and shouting for the occupants to “come to the door” before using a battering ram, deploying the flash bangs and entering the property.
‘I’m scared – my baby’s in here’
Ms Price, a single mother, had moved in with her aunt and uncle at the start of the year, and was at home with her son, Waylon, who was born premature and has special needs.
“In the video, you can hear me scream,” Ms Price told NBC News.
She said she told police: “I’m scared. My baby’s in here, he’s on a ventilator.”
“I remember seeing the flash and the smoke coming in,” she added. The mother was quickly put in handcuffs after police entered her property, she said.
Waylon was taken to hospital with Ms Price and sent home once medics said the child’s condition had “nothing to do with the raid”.
But Ms Price said he “quit breathing” the next morning, and was taken to hospital and transferred to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.
Ms Price claims he was treated for inflammation of the lungs, and a chemical reaction in and around his eyes.
‘I just don’t like being here now’
In a GoFundMe appeal to support Waylon’s medical bills, Ms Price wrote: “The negligence from Elyria Police Department caused my baby to have burned eyes, burned chest, burned arm, burned neck.”
Waylon has pulmonary hypertension – a severe lung disease – and a hole in the heart, the mother’s appeal adds.
Ms Price said she moved to the area from Kentucky because her son needs heart surgery, which has now been delayed.
“We came here for a fresh start… but I just don’t like being here now,” she said.
Police said in a statement that Ms Price told officers her son had a pre-existing medical condition and that detectives, paramedics and the mum herself assessed the child and confirmed he “did not sustain any apparent, visible injuries”.
Officers maintained the child was not harmed during the raid, and that the diversionary devices used “do not produce a continuous burn and they do not deploy or contain any pepper gas or chemical agents”.
“Any allegation suggesting the child was exposed to chemical agents, lack of medical attention or negligence is not true,” the statement said.
It added an investigation is ongoing.