Guns drawn, police officers in tactical gear kicked down the door of the home after 1am and found their target: a 2-year-old boy thought to have a fever. It was "an abuse of power," Arizona Rep. Kelly Townsend tells KNXV of the scene in Chandler last month. The unvaccinated boy had a fever of 105 degrees when his mother visited a naturopathic doctor, who told her to take him to the emergency room, on Feb. 25, per ABC News. Sarah Beck says the fever subsequently broke, so the two instead returned home. When the doctor learned the boy hadn't been taken to the ER, she notified the Arizona Department of Child Safety, which contacted Chandler Police. Officers say the boy's parents refused to open their door for a welfare check around 10:30pm. They forcibly entered after DCS obtained a court order to seize the child due to a "possible life-threatening illness."
The boy was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, not meningitis as the doctor suspected, Townsend tells KNXV. "Parents felt the child was fine. Next thing we know, the Gestapo is at their door," she adds, per the Arizona Republic, noting the parents "may have been targeted by the medical community because they hadn't vaccinated their children." He and his two sisters, ages 4 and 6, are currently in the custody of their grandparents. The parents hope to regain custody at an April hearing. "To be bothered in the middle of the night by DCS was not something we were ready to tackle," they say in a statement. "Nobody, especially children, should have to go through what we are going through." It's been "a very traumatic experience." (Read more Arizona stories.)