‘Gross stupidity’

From small town Colorado comes a lesson in what happens when the Nanny State meets the Police State.

Jon Shiflett, an 11-year-old resident of New Castle in west-central Colorado, fell down last Thursday night while trying to grab the handle of a moving car, according to news accounts. His dad took him home.

But somebody who saw the incident apparently called the paramedics. When they arrived at the Shiflett home, the boy’s father, 62-year-old Tom, told them to leave, that he had been a medic in Vietnam and was capable of treating his son.

His refusal to allow the paramedics into his home, however, triggered a follow-up visit on Friday from social service caseworkers, who reported that the boy had a large head injury and a sluggish pupil. After Mr. Shiflett refused to let them take his child, they went before a judge arguing that John Shiflett was not getting proper medical attention and seeking a court order to get him to the hospital.

Thus on late Friday night did an armed law enforcement crew break down the door of the Shiflett home and essentially kidnap the pre-teen at gunpoint. The boy’s mother, Tina, told the Vail Daily that the officers threatened the family with criminal charges if they followed their child to the emergency room.

At the hospital, doctors diagnosed the boy with … a bump on the head.

“Following the raid, a doctor recommended Jon be given fluids, Tylenol and ice to treat the bruises, according to a copy of the child’s patient aftercare instructions,” reports The Associated Press.

The incident has prompted outrage in some quarters. Said one man who witnessed the raid: “Inappropriate is not nearly strong enough a word. It was gross irresponsibility and stupidity. I don’t know what we’re coming to when they think your kid needs medical help and they send a SWAT team.”

It’s a Brave New World, indeed.

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