Video shows dad put son in running washing machine

May 23, 2012 5:20:24 AM PDT
It's a panic that went on for almost a minute as a father and mother frantically tried to get their child out of a spinning washing machine at Federal Laundromat in Camden.

The son of the laundromat's owner, Laurie Chhour, posted the May 11 surveillance video on YouTube last week and titled it "Epic Parenting Fail at a Laundromat."

The father was apparently playing a game with his son, who is possibly only 1-year-old when he put the boy in the washer.

Both he and the mother quickly realized the spin cycle was on and the child was trapped.

"It was not right to do something like that to a little kid. How you going to shove a little kid in a washing machine? He's a human being," witness Carmen Rodriguez said.

The laundromat says the father didn't realize the machine had already been filled with money, so when he loaded his child in and locked the door, the washer started.

"He was very scared and was like, 'Oh, I'm in trouble,'" Chhour said.

Laundromat worker Kong Eng ran over to the screaming parents, opened a back panel and killed the power to the washer. He was able to free the boy.

"I pulled the baby out and then the baby still had a life, and I'm very happy," Eng said.

"They should be supervising their children better, and playing around in a laundromat is not a place to be playing at all," laundromat customer Michael Saccomanno of Camden said.

The strong emotions continued online where the video has received more than 6 million hits and thousands of angry comments.

Witnesses say the boy came out with a few bruises, but he was laughing and seemed to be fine by the time his parents took him home.

"I was thinking of putting up a sign. It sounds ridiculous, but it protects me," Chhour said.

The prosecutor's office says the incident doesn't appear to be criminal, but it is asking the parents to come forward and prove the boy is OK.

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