The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 23, 2012

Two-year-old gets stuck in ‘claw machine’

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — A two-year-old boy was briefly trapped in a “claw machine” Thanksgiving morning while his parents waited to buy a sandwich at the Subway Restaurant at Love’s Truck Stop, said Captain John Chapin of the Conneaut Fire Department.

The game’s purpose is for children, or adults, to pick up a stuffed animal with a moving claw. The machine has a one foot by one foot door that was left open and the curious child walked through, said Chapin. The game is located in an arcade adjacent to the sandwich shop and the little boy and his four-year-old sister wandered into the arcade.

He said the incident occurred around 10 a.m. and the boy was quickly freed by his father before the fire department arrived on the scene. Chapin said the father broke the door off the machine.

“His whole body was inside. He was looking out the window,” Chapin said. He said they tried to call the company that services the machine, but nobody was available on Thanksgiving so they called the fire department.

“We were prepared. We brought an engine, a squad and a police officer,” Chapin said. He said the family was just traveling through the area and the boy was upset, but not injured.

“I’ve been doing this for 43 years and I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said.