A missing three-year-old Lincoln boy was discovered in a claw machine at a bowling alley Monday night.
Lincoln Police Department got a call Monday about a missing boy. His mother told police he’d slipped out an unlocked door of their apartment while she was in the bathroom.
After arriving at the scene, police were told a child matching the boy’s description was at Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards, 4700 Dudley St., across the street from where the boy lives.
An LPD sergeant went to investigate and saw the three-year-old boy had crawled inside the claw machine at the bowling alley. He was uninjured and playing happily with the stuffed animals in the machine, said Katie Flood, public information officer with LPD. Madsen’s employees, along with a vending machine company, helped remove the child safely.
Flood said the sergeant regretted not taking a photo of the scene.
A 3-year-old boy somehow crawled up into a claw machine and was busy playing with the toys inside while his mother frantically searched for him.
Employees at Madsen’s Bowling and Billiards in Lincoln said a customer alerted them that the young child was stuck inside the claw machine.
At the same time police were called to a home nearby on a report of a missing child. According to reports, a 24-year-old woman called 911 when she discovered her 3-year-old had slipped out of her apartment.
She told police that she was in the bathroom when the boy left through an unlocked door.
Meanwhile, Madsen’s called police and the vending machine company to come let him out.
Employees said by the time the vending people arrived police had pieced the two situations together.
The boy was freed from the machine without any injury.
According to police, the mother acted quickly and appropriately as soon as she realized her son was missing and there were no indications of neglect. She was not cited.
Of course, these incidents happen with surprising frequency. Last year, an Australian toddler not only made it into a claw machine, once inside, he started handing out toys to onlookers.
Another Toddler ends up in Bear-Claw Toy Vending Machine.