Thursday, October 26, 2006
A Visitor...From Beyond
ANTIGO, Wis. (AP) — A toddler who went fishing for a stuffed cartoon character in a vending machine wound up sharing space with the toy inside the game's plastic cubicle.
Three-year-old Robert Moore tried to scoop out a stuffed replica of SpongeBob SquarePants with the vending machine's plastic crane on Saturday, but had no luck on his first attempt.
While his grandmother, Fredricka Bierdemann, turned her back to get another dollar for a second try, Robert took off his coat and squeezed through an opening in the machine. He landed in the stuffed animal cube.
"I turned around and looked for him, and he said, 'Oma, I'm in here," Bierdemann said. "I thought I would have a heart attack."
Store employees couldn't find a key to the machine, so Robert waited while the Anti-go Fire Department was called.
"He was having a ball in there, hugging all the stuffed animals," Bierdemann said. "He was so good-natured, but I was shaking like a leaf."
Firefighters broke one lock but then spotted two latches inside the plastic cube. They passed a screwdriver to Robert, who eventually freed himself.
He went home safe — but without a stuffed Sponge Bob.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Posted 10/25/2006 9:33 AM ET
Updated 10/25/2006 12:20 PM ET