Just Another Guy with Opinions

SWAT Team Removes Boy from House

Posted by shadmia on January 15, 2008


Tom Shiflett, 62, of Apple Tree Park, Co. is hopping mad. His 11-year-old son, Jon, was abducted from his home – by the The Garfield County All Hazards Response Team. No – the child was not in imminent danger. No – he was not being abused. No – he was not being held hostage. The raid resulted from Tom refusing to allow his son to be taken to hospital for minor injuries that could easily be treated at home. Tom should know; he was a medic in Vietnam and was more than qualified to treat the bruises his son received from falling down.

It all began when Jon tried to grab at the door handle of the car that his sister was driving. He slipped and fell on the pavement, hitting his head. Jon’s father, Tom, was first on the scene. He checked his son out, took him home and applied ice to the bump on his head. He said that Jon’s eyes were not dilated, and that the child appeared to be okay except for some cuts, the bump on his head and a developing black eye. As noted before Tom had medical training from his medic days in Vietnam. He was quite capable of assessing a whole host of injuries and properly monitoring an injured patient.

Someone who had seen the accident called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived Tom told them that everything was under control. They however examined the boy and suggested that he go to the hospital. Tom told them that it was not necessary and refused to let them take the boy. The paramedics left but reported the incident to social services. The next day two social workers visited the Shiflett home. They were allowed to see the boy but again Tom refused to let them take him. The social workers were not satisfied and vowed to return with a court order. This was not an idle threat as the Shiflett’s were about to find out.

Nearly 36 hours later, SWAT team members broke into the family home in western Colorado near New Castle and took Jon to a hospital, where a doctor said the family should keep ice on his bruise, exactly the treatment the family already had been providing. Tina Shiflett, Jon’s mother, recounts what happened that night:

“A fully armed SWAT team broke into our home, slammed my children to the floor face down with their hands behind their backs and shoved a gun in my daughter’s face and handcuffed her.” In a separate letter to World Net Daily (WND), she elaborated a little more fully.

During the attack, she wrote, “One (officer) grabbed my daughter Beth (18 years), who also had a gun to her face, slammed her down and kneed her in the back and held her in that position… My sons Adam (14) and Noah (only 7) lay down willingly, yet they were still forced to put their hands behind their backs and were yelled at to keep their heads down.“My daughter Jeanette was coming out from the back bedroom when she was grabbed, drug down the hallway, across a couch and slammed to the ground,” she said. “The officers then began throwing scissors and screwdrivers across the room (out of our reach, I suppose) and going through our cupboards.

“I asked if I could make a phone call and was told, ‘no.’ My daughter asked if that wasn’t one of our rights. The reply was made, ‘That’s only in the movies,'” she told WND.

Tina says that when the SWAT team arrived at their house about 11:00pm they cooperated fully with the sheriff who asked to see Jon.

“Between 10 and 11 … a sheriff came to the door. My husband met him at the window and he began to question my husband. My husband spoke with him and answered all his questions. The sheriff then said if Tom would just let him speak with Jonathan (our 11 yr. old son) this whole matter (story following) would be closed,” she documented.“Tom said, ‘You are saying, ‘If I let you speak to Jonathan this whole matter will be closed.?’ Then Tom called for Jonathan to come to the window,” she said.

“As soon as Jonathan was visible to the sheriff, a SWAT team appeared shining lights on Jon’s face and others were bashing at the door with a ramming device. My daughter resisted and pushed against the door to stop them as she didn’t know who they were. I told her to back up and not try to fight them. They then entered our home, held a gun to my daughter’s face and others of them, five or more, rushed into the living room and physically forced my other children to the ground.”

“We were told Jonathan would be taken to a hospital near us for evaluation, and then questioned by the human resources. At this point Jonathan was scared, crying and shaking. We asked if we could accompany him, or follow them to the hospital. We were warned not to try to follow him or come to the hospital or criminal charges would be pressed against us.

“Our son was returned to us at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning. In all this was not one shred of evidence found that we had done anything wrong or that Jon had not been properly cared for at home,” she said.

According to Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario he was just following the orders of Garfield County Magistrate Lain Leoniak.

“I was given a court order by the magistrate to seize the child, and arrange for medical evaluation, and that’s what we did,” he said.

To Ross Talbot, the witness and owner of the mobile home park, the attack — for that is what it was — on the Shiflett family was an abuse of power:

I thought it was an incredibly stupid power move by people who went in there misinformed and ill-informed. I think they violated their personal rights, their constitutional rights and their rights to family. I’ve been (Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario’s) longtime supporter, but I tell you what, to send a SWAT team down there was just absolutely over the hill…. Inappropriate is not nearly strong enough a word. It was gross irresponsibility and stupidity. … 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.

Tom Shiflett cannot understand how something like this could happen. He is very upset with the system that allowed this kind of abuse on his family.

“When American law allows federal and state agencies to come in a home and confiscate family, there is something wrong with our system,” Shiflett said. “If I can find a law firm or lawyer that can take this pro bono, because I have no money, I’m going to sue everyone on that warrant.”

Tina Shiflett summed up the family’s experience like this:

“To the SWAT Team members … how far will you go in ‘just doing your job?’ If you feel no guilt busting into an innocent family’s home, traumatizing young children and stomping the security found therein, will you follow more horrific orders?” she wrote.“May I remind you that in Nazi Germany, outrageous, monstrous crimes were committed by soldiers ‘just doing their job?’ What will be next? Where will this stop?” she wrote.

“Fathers, mothers, families and countrymen, I challenge you to consider our story and ask yourself the question, ‘If this were my family, what would I do?’ For it very well could be you … next!”


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6 Responses to “SWAT Team Removes Boy from House”

  1. Lynn said

    What is this world coming to, when a qualified man who served in the military, who was experienced in the medical field, is treated with such disrespect. Shame on those who started such a hardship on this family. Just remember we ALL will have to stand before The Lord GOD Almighty, The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. We will have to give an account of those things we done to others in this life

  2. Stef said

    This story makes me ill… I could understand if there was suspected abuse in the home, and the parents were being uncooperative, but this was not the case here. It’s like sending the Marines to kill a spider… gross incompetence on the part of the “authorities” here. They all, including the sheriff, should be arrested and put on trial. They violated this family’s privacy, their personal space, and probably traumatized the children for life. All that for a bruise that Dad had the expertise to treat.

  3. Although I wouldn’t go as far as Stef “They…probably traumatized the children for life”; I would say this is a misuse of resources. If you’re going to seize a bruised child, can you seize something more important, like illegal weapons?

  4. […] […]

  5. Nethel said

    Please refrain from using the British version of English by saying, “taken to hospital” as in the first paragraph. The proper usage is, “taken to THE hospital”. Thanks!

  6. Loren Gordon said

    These criminals can do whatever they want because your children belong to the State through laws passed by congress in the last ten years that appealed to the voters and was never questioned and for the most part unknown to the majority.Theses people , especially CPS are incentivized to “Take our children for ANY reason. Research :{Parens Patria}. I have been through this nonsense with the State and CPS.I did Nothing wrong , but got about the same treatment.This all has to do with Fascism , and should you think me wrong I am willing to send you all the Info you can digest in the next 2 years. Check out , Coalition for fathers and children , families4justice , fathers4justice,. There are many people that are fed up with State, city, county , and Federal government concerning this assault on the Family and our children.PS, yes this resembles exactly what Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin ,Hitler, and even our Illustrious presidents Clinton, Busch(SR), and present Busch, plus prior Presidents , have done to trash the family. Do the research, … Please.

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