CHICAGO (CBS) – Surveillance video shows a toddler pushing open the prize door and crawling inside a toy claw machine in 20 seconds.
CBS 2’s Mai Martinez spoke with one of the firefighters who freed the little boy.
Firefighters responded to a call of a child being stuck inside a toy claw machine in a laundromat near Baldwin and Dundee in Palatine Thursday night.
“We thought it would be an arm, something like that,” said Lt. Matthew Nagy of the Palatine Fire Department.
It wasn’t just the boy’s arm that was stuck. The boy’s entire body was inside the claw machine.
“What we noticed is the door here,” explained Lt. Nagy, pointing to where the boy crawled in. “Then open it up, the compartment is actually pretty deep, so he got in there. Once the door shut, he panicked.”
Surveillance video shows how quickly the toddler crawled him. To free him, firefighters cut the power to the machine and took the top off.
Getting the boy out of the machine wasn’t a simple task. Lt. Nagy said, “Once we were finished and had access to him, he actually tried to get away from us. He went deeper into the machine.”
Firefighter Brian Marek went in to the machine to get the child, who was scared but not injured. Once he was safely in his mother’s arms, the jokes started.
“There was some comments that we all wish we are better at the claw game or had change,” joked Lt. Nagy.
They said they snapped a funny picture of Marek before he climbed out.
“Is that the only time you’ve been able to get something out of a claw machine?” asked CBS 2’s Mai Martinez.
“Personally, yes,” replied Lt. Nagy, chuckling. “I’m awful at it, yes.”