Have you ever gone to a historical preservation village, where everyone takes a picture in the stocks, like they used to use to punish thieves and women who wore ankle-baring garments in olden times?
A kind of modern-day stocks inadvertently resulted when a teenage boy tried to swipe a soda from a vending machine, getting his arm stuck in the process and prompting embarrassingly widespread news coverage.
The 17-year-old, a student of Sweetwater High School near San Diego, tried to liberate the Coke at around 5 AM at a National City trolley station. A trolley rider spotted the soda-thieving teen trying to free himself (in vain) from the vending machine, and called police.
When authorities arrived, the unnamed teen (shown in the picture) was good and stuck in the Coke machine. But while police were on the scene, rescue was not imminent.
According to NBC San Diego, the cops tried to jimmy the kid out of the Coke machine, which did not work. They tried to get the keys to the Coke machine, but were thwarted.
Crowbars also failed to free the trapped teen, and axes chopping at the machine also did not work.
NBC explains the teen was finally extricated, but not without a fight:
“Authorities then requested a fire engine with saws and hydraulic tools. They used a rotary saw and air chisel to dismantle the vending machine and eventually, the teen was extricated from the tight opening… The entire rescue took about an hour, police said.”
The teen was treated for “scrapes and soreness” after his own attempts to get loose, but the incident is not without consequence — not only might he be charged with petty theft, but he may also be on the hook for damages to the property as well as the cost of his liberation.