A 4-year-old boy named Leo Shorthouse recently had to undergo six hours of painful procedures and eventually sedation in order to have his entire arm unjammed from the inside of a vending machine after he reached into the alien contraption to grab some cookies.
Four-year old Leo was vacationing with his family at Oaks Hotel in Melbourne, reports BBC News, when he found a vending machine in the hotel.
Leo’s father, Aaron Shorthouse, later commented in an interview with 7 News that the family had lived in Arnhem Land, an extremely remote and undeveloped area located in Northern Australia, for Leo’s entire life. For that reason, the boy had never seen a vending machine before.
The 4-year-old also had an affinity for Oreo cookies, said Aaron, and so, while his parents’ backs were turned, Leo stuck his arm through the vending machine’s flap and upwards, pushing up the three antitheft metal flaps and locking his arm in place. The boy had effectively put himself in a real-world version of the razor box trap from Saw II.
Adults soon found Leo stuck up to his shoulder in the machine and did not hesitate to contact paramedics, who soon arrived to assist the screaming 4-year-old boy.
Even the professionals found the job quite difficult, though. At first, they attempted to cut the vending machine open with angle grinders, showing the 4-year-old cartoons on mobile phones to distract him from the noisy job while they were working, said a Metropolitan Fire Brigade Officer.
“The machine’s a heavy duty outdoor unit designed to stop people breaking into it.”
Seargent Ali Gurdag of the local police force claims that the boy remained “stoic” throughout the extraction, although witnesses said they could hear the 4-year-old’s screams from the street.
The Parent Herald reports that the cutting strategy was putting Leo in too much distress, and the paramedic team had to sedate him. That was all it took, though; little Leo was soon freed and is now recovering in a Melbourne hospital.
Amazingly, reported Aaron Shorthouse, the boy was unphased after being released and was not crying when the father and son walked to a waiting ambulance out of the building as soon as the boy’s arm was pulled loose.
Gurdag added that the rescue mission had been very challenging for both the paramedics and the boy himself, but that 4-year-old Leo had been very brave.
“The fortitude of the little fellow is just amazing,” he noted.
“Leo is fine,” said Aaron just minutes after his boy was freed. “He was a bit inquisitive and put his hand in the vending machine, but he’s good now.”
He also detailed that his 4-year-old son had been trapped for five and a half hours and that it had been difficult to watch the police, firemen, paramedics, and locksmith called to the scene putting his son through such pain.
But overall, he said, the public service agents who had freed Leo had been very good about the ordeal.
“I must say the firies and police were actually amazing. They were incredible.”
Leo’s initiation into the dark world of vending machine usage was decidedly more harrowing than are most people’s first encounters with the devices. Now that the 4-year-old boy has walked away from the incident with only minor injuries, comments NT News, it is not likely he will want to use one of the machines again anytime soon.
At least whatever company that vending machine belongs to now has a very persuasive new case study to prove their equipment is safe from theft.
[Photo by Carlos Osorio/AP]