Officers told her 'rights' were 'only in the movies'
WORLDNETDAILY - By Bob Unruh - January 10, 2008
The mother of an 11-year-old boy abducted by SWAT team members and taken to a hospital after he was bruised while horsing around is warning members of her community of the "Nazi" tactics she endured, including a statement from the officers that her "rights" were "only in the movies."
The case involves Jon Shiflett, who injured himself while trying to grab the handle of a door on a car his sister was driving. He slipped and fell to the pavement, hitting his head. His parents treated him for the injury and rejected paramedics' demands that they be allowed to take him to a hospital.
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, has written a letter to the editor to a local newspaper, the Post Independent, "to awaken, alert and appall any who read it and hear the bells ringing."
"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---" her letter said.
In a separate letter to 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.
It was some unidentified person, possibly a paramedic who had been refused permission to take Jon Shiflett to the hospital as she wanted, who provided information last week that convinced a magistrate to issue a court order that Jon be taken into state custody and examined by a doctor.
He was taken by SWAT team members dispatched by the sheriff to the family's home at 11 p.m. at night, and they punched a hole in the front door and held guns on other children in the family in order to take Jon.
"The armed men in black masks took my terrified son against his wishes to Grand River Hospital, where he was examined by a doctor and interrogated by Social Services. No evidence was found that he had not been properly taken care of. Upon his return, we were told to keep ice on his head," Tina Shiflett's letter to the editor said.
"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!"
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario told WND he simply ordered his officers to do exactly what the magistrate demanded.
"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. - - - -
Sheriff defends capture of boy by SWAT team
WORLDNETDAILY - By Bob Unruh - January 12, 2008
The Colorado sheriff who dispatched a SWAT team to break into a family's home, hold them at gunpoint and take custody of an 11-year-old boy for a medical exam sought by Social Services is defending the actions, saying the boy's father told officers to "bring an army" if they returned.
The 11-year-old, Jonathan Shiflett, had suffered bruises while horsing around in a mobile home park near New Castle where the family lives. But his father, Tom Shiflett, refused to allow paramedics who arrived after a neighbor apparently called 911 to treat his son, and refused to allow the ambulance crew to take Jonathan to a hospital.
Multiple visits by police officers and sheriff's deputies brought the same response, as did a visit from Social Services employees, who reported to court authorities: "Thomas Shiflett shouted at this worker and advised this worker that if he obtained a court order, he better 'bring an army,'" according to an affidavit filed by Matthew McGaugh, a caseworker for the Garfield County Department of Social Services.
Sheriff Lou Vallario used that alleged threat in an e- mail response to a WND reader who questioned his actions. Vallario also criticized WND reporting on the events to a local newspaper, without contacting WND with any concerns.
"Thank you for your concerns. I have had personal confrontations with Mr. Shiflett and he has been threatening, agitated and violent. In 2005 we arrested him for chasing a man down the street with an ax and his statement in the report was, 'if he didn't run faster than me I would have planted the ax in the back of his head.' He was not convicted because of our 'Make my day' law (self defense of your home), but none the less he clearly demonstrated violence in this case as well as others. Further, when we requested his cooperation he said, 'if you want my son, bring an army,'" the sheriff responded via e-mail.
However, what the sheriff left out of his response was what McGaugh reported happened just before the alleged threat. McGaugh confirmed he had delivered a not-so-veiled threat to Shiflett. - - - -
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