Lakeland boy, 2, burned during drug raid, police say

- A 2-year-old boy suffered burn injuries and a dog was shot during the execution of a search warrant in a Lakeland neighborhood Thursday,

Police called it a "drug house" but some neighbors disagree.

Around noon, the Lakeland Police Department says its SWAT team executed what they called a “high-risk search warrant” at 1103 West 9th Street. When they entered, police said they did not see anyone inside a small room, which was “cluttered” with clothing, several furniture items, including old mattresses leaning against the walls. 

Police said they fired a flash-bang, which they described as a “noise-flash diversion product commonly used in search warrants.” As an officer was backing out of the room, a 2-year-old, who police think was hiding behind some mattresses, began walking toward the device as it detonated.

The child suffered burns, which police said were non-life threatening.

He was taken to Lakeland Regional Health, then to Tampa General Hospital for further treatment.

"Nothing was going on in those people's house," a neighbor told FOX 13 News. "That's their business. I'm not asking no questions pertaining to that."

His mother was not at the scene, but detectives said they found her a short time later. They said she left her son in the care of 29-year-old Willie Cohen, who was arrested at the scene for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. The mother then headed to Tampa General Hospital, police said.

During this time, police said a pit bull on the property became aggressive and lunged at a K9 officer. The officer fired his gun, and a bullet grazed one of the dog’s legs. Police said an animal control officer evaluated the dog, and said there weren’t any serious injuries.

Lakeland police said they found meth, Xanax, synthetic marijuana, a handgun, and other drugs inside the home.

Also arrested was 29-year-old Newton Harris, also facing a charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. 

Police said additional charges are expected for other suspects. 

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