Toddler rescued from claw machine at laundromat

18-month-old troublemaker Colin Lambert got to keep one of the stuffed animals after his rescue.

By Ben Hooper
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MARYVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Firefighters in Tennessee freed an 18-month-old boy who climbed into stuffed animal claw machine while his grandmother's back was turned at a laundromat.

Diane O'Neill, grandmother of Maryville toddler Colin Lambert, said she looked up from checking a text message Tuesday at the laundromat just in time to see the boy climbing into the machine through the prize slot.


"All I could see was his feet. He had already crawled in," she told WBIR-TV. "I grabbed his feet and he kicked my hand and got in. Climbed up over the glass partition and sat down in the toys."

The boy was rescued by firefighters within a matter of minutes and they allowed Colin to keep one of the stuffed animals from inside the machine.

O'Neill told WATE-TV, Knoxville, her grandson is a "sweet little monster" with a tendency to climb his way into trouble.

"Nothing surprises me with him. You just have to expect the worst and usually it happens," she said.

Colin's mom, Bridget Lambert, said she wasn't at all surprised by the incident.

"She tells me and shows me a picture and my husband and I started laughing, because we're not surprised. It was a matter of time before he did something like this," Lambert said.


Colin is not the first toddler to need emergency assistance for an escape from a toy machine. Earlier this year, a 3-year-old in Nebraska wandered from home to a bowling alley across the street and was discovered playing with the stuffed animals inside a "Bear Claw" machine.

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