ALLENTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Police in Allentown were called to rescue a young boy who became stuck in a toy claw machine at a laundromat.

The boy’s mother told CBS3 that she took her eyes off her son, 2-year-old Josiah Cruz, for a few seconds and that is when he tried to climb inside the toy claw machine.

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Surveillance video captures first responders the moment they are called to Papa’s Maytag Equipped Laundry on North 7th Street around noon on Thursday to rescue the boy stuck inside the machine.

“First it came in as a child trapped in a vending machine. I was thinking that someone tried to put their child into the machine and get their arm in there to pull down a Snickers or a Milky Way or something,” said Allentown Firefighter Todd Weisel.

Josiah wedged himself completely inside the claw machine on his own.

The surveillance video shows the boy wandering away from his mother who was folding laundry.

Surveillance video captures the young boy climbing into the vending machine. (credit: CBS3)

Josiah goes into the laundromat’s play area and becomes interested in the plush teddy bears in the machine.

First, he tries to get them using the nozzle and buttons on the machine. When that doesn’t work, he decides to take a different approach and climb inside.

It’s only five seconds later that Josiah’s mom realizes she doesn’t see her son and then she discovers that he’s stuck in the machine.


Nine-one-one is quickly called and puzzled emergency responders rush to get him out.

“We got in there and looked at the hole and how small it was and that he was actually in there. It was pretty crazy,” said Allentown Firefighter John Burkhart.

It took about 10 minutes, but eventually with a crow bar and a dozen police officers, medics and firefighters, the little boy was out of the machine. He was a little sweaty but unscathed.

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“Once he came out, she was right there and scooped him up. Medics checked him out and he was all good,” said Weisel.

Despite getting out, Josiah never ended up getting the teddy bear. An employee inside the laundromat offered one to him, but after the whole ordeal he decided he didn’t want it.