LINCOLN, NE (KETV/CNN) - A child has been returned safe to his mother after getting some playtime inside a stuffed animal claw machine game at a bowling alley Monday.
Rachel Hildreth, of Madsen's Bowling & Billiards, said someone told her about the boy inside the Bear Claw machine. She didn't believe it until she saw for herself.
"There's a 3-year-old child inside the machine, playing with the stuffed animals, just throwing them around," she said.
The staff figured he crawled in through the prize door, which has a safety stop, then scaled into the pit. He did not appear hurt or scared.
"There must have be 25 people surrounding him, but he didn't notice anybody," Hildreth said. "He was just inside playing with the stuffed animals."
Employees called the vendor to get a key to open the machine. Then they called police when they couldn't find the boy's mother.
Across the street, his mom also called police around the same time. She said she returned from going to the bathroom to find him missing.
"We had officers in the area searching the neighborhood," Officer Katie Flood said.
The child was removed without harm from the machine. He even got to keep one of his new stuffed friends as a souvenir.
Police said the mother was not cited because she contacted them as soon as she realized her son was missing.