Video: Mom of boy in claw machine: I worried if he could breathe

By Greg Pallone, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 08, 2018, 4:56 PM EST

A quiet meal at a Titusville Beef O'Brady's turned to an ordeal — fast — after a boy got stuck in an arcade claw machine.

Amanda Polchlopek and her friend, Lindsey Charamut, had just sat down for dinner Wednesday and let their sons, Mason and Julian, go into the playroom.

Inside that playroom was an arcade claw machine, filled with a bounty of stuffed animals.

"Julian came over and said, 'Mason is stuck in the machine', and I was like, 'What?" Polchlopek tells us, a day after what happened.


(Video courtesy of Lindsey Charamut)

"It was hot," says Mason, when asked what it was like in the glass-encased game.

"I panicked, because I didn't know if he could breathe," Polchlopek said.

The 6-year-old managed to squeeze his way through the slot where the prizes come out.

"He was trying to get a toy for he and Julian," Polchlopek said. "And even as he was stuck, he was putting toys he wanted in the hole," she said with a grin.

But then he couldn't figure out how to get himself back out.

"He realized he was trapped and tried to get out but realized he was too big," Polchlopek said.

But the restaurant didn't have a key to the machine.

An off-duty Titusville firefighter was eating, heard the commotion and told Polchlopek to call 911. His colleagues arrived in minutes to help. They managed to pry it open, and out came Mason.

Believe it or not, this isn't his first encounter with a claw machine. When he was 3, Mason climbed into a different one at a different Beef O'Brady's, but he was small enough to get out.

Will he ever go in there again?

"No!" Mason quickly answered.

Polchlopek said she's gotten some backlash on social media. But she said it was a simple mistake.

As for the little adventurer, he and his friend walked away with three stuffed animals.


(Video courtesy of Lindsey Charamut)