While Diane O’Neill was washing her clothes at a laundromat, she knew she had to keep close a eye on her notoriously mischievous grandson.
She then received a text message and looked down at her phone for a split second, but the next thing she knew – Colin Lambert was gone.
Looking around for the 18-month-old boy inside the coin laundry shop in Maryville, Tennessee, she quikcly noticed the youngster climbing inside of a claw machine.
With his feet hanging out of the door at the bottom of the vending machine, Mrs O’Neill tried to grab the boy’s legs. But he kicked back and made his way inside. Colin then clambered over the glass partition inside the device and sat among the soft toys.
Mrs O’Neil dialed 911, but she quickly felt at ease, realizing that the youngster wasn’t hurt.
She told WBIR: ‘My biggest fear that he was going to try and climb back over and try and get out because the piece of glass that keeps the toys in was cracked
‘It was the funniest thing because he was the kid in the box. He was hitting the sides trying to find out how to get out.’
Mrs O’Neil then went to go and pick up the boy’s mother, Bridget, who had been sleeping after a long day at work.
She described how her mother had turned up at the house and told her she had called the police.
Fearing for her son, she asked if he was alright. Mrs O’Neill then showed her a photo of Colin’s predicament on her cell phone and she burst out laughing.
It is not the first time in recent months a child has been caught inside one of the machines.
In April a little girl from Fort Lauderdale was able to climb into the claw machine and gain access to a pile of stuffed animals which she handed out to all who desired to claim a prize.
The same month Kael Ireland went missing from his apartment in Nebraska. His worried parents then found him cuddling the soft toys in a nearby arcade.