A 3-year-old boy, who had been reported missing by his worried mother, was found trapped inside a claw machine this week at a Nebraska bowling alley.
— KETV NewsWatch 7 (@KETV) April 15, 2014
According to the Omaha World-Herald, police in Lincoln, Neb., received a call Monday from a woman who said her son had slipped out of their apartment through an unlocked door while she was in the bathroom.
Fortunately, mother and son were soon reunited after patrons at a nearby bowling alley spotted the toddler sitting inside a claw machine. Details as to how the boy got into the machine are scarce; however, children have previously managed to climb their way into claw machines through the prize chute.
A police spokeswoman told the World-Herald that the toddler was uninjured and "playing happily" with the toys in the machine.
ABC affiliate KETV reports the woman was not cited for any misconduct, as she contacted the police immediately after discovering that her son was missing.
Small children actually get stuck in claw machines all the time. As CraveOnline.com puts it, the machine is, quite literally, a "kid trap" as small, curious children can wiggle their way into some of them with relative ease.
In 2012, for example, an Australian toddler made his way into a claw machine and started handing out toys to onlookers once he was inside; and last year, a video of a boy stuck in a claw machine went viral. While his distraught mother looked on, the toddler was videotaped thoroughly enjoying himself among the machine's many toys.