It’s happened again. America’s secret scourge: kids getting stuck in claw machines.
This time, the victim was a Florida boy who was lured into the grip of a claw machine Wednesday night at the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Titusville, according to Florida Today.
The boy, identified only as Mason, decided that he really, really wanted a stuffed animal he saw inside the arcade game’s cage. Instead of paying to snatch it using the claw, Mason, who looked to be about 4 or 5, climbed up into the machine.
“He went in, but obviously he couldn’t come back out the same way,” Titusville Fire and Emergency Services battalion chief Greg Sutton said, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Mason wasn’t trapped in the claw machine’s evil clutch for long. Lucky for the little boy, off-duty firefighter Lt. Jeremy House was also dining in the restaurant.
House “told the mother to call 911, knowing our guys are so close by and that they could handle the situation,” Sutton told ABC News.
Responding firefighters were able to rescue Mason within five minutes of their arrival. “Once we understood the mechanism and how it worked, it was pretty easy to get those pins removed and the door open the rest of the way,” Sutton said.
The fire department reported the rescue on its local Facebook page.
There was also minimal damage to the claw machine.
Turns out the potentially frightening experience was worth it in the end: Mason got a toy football and more.
“He came out with some toys,” Sutton told Florida Today. “He did end up with what he was after.”