New Castle, Colorado
A tactical law enforcement team broke into Tom Shiflett’s home and took his 11-year-old son to hospital for court-ordered medical treatment for a minor head injury.
Garfield County’s All Hazards Response Team raided the home Friday night, a day after Jon Shiflett fell after grabbing the handle of a moving car. The child was returned to the family at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, hours after the raid.
“Inappropriate is not nearly strong enough a word. It was gross irresponsibility and stupidity,” said Ross Talbott, owner of the Apple Tree Mobile Home Park south of New Castle who rents to the Shifletts and who witnessed the raid. “Is this Russia? I don’t know what we’re coming to when they think your kid needs medical help and they send a SWAT team.”
In the end, the injury wasn’t as severe as caseworkers from the Garfield County Department of Social Services thought when they went before a judge seeking a search warrant and order for medical treatment.
The doctor recommended fluids, Tylenol and ice to treat the bruises, according to a copy of Jon’s patient aftercare instructions.
Tom Shiflett, 62, who said he served as a medic in Vietnam, had told authorities that he had the skill to treat his son.
Garfield County sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis said two deputies were first sent to notify Shiflett of a court order for his son’s medical treatment and that Shiflett did not comply.
Caseworkers who visited the family Friday reported seeing injuries that including a “huge hematoma” and a sluggish pupil.
I fired off this e-mail to Garfield County human services:
You sent a SWAT team to extract an 11 year old kid from his home over a typical childhood injury? Congratulations. You’ve just proved how stupid the Nanny State has become. I bet you’re real proud of yourselves. No one will be charged over this although everyone, especially the caseworkers who knee-jerked the situation into a warrant, deserve to be FIRED.
They mistook a minor injury for a “huge hematoma”? Looks like their medical skills are on par with their common sense.