There's no way to know what the couple were thinking. Maybe they were trying to scare their kid into good behavior. Maybe they were just goofing around. Maybe they thought it would be funny -- there's a large sign hanging above the machines, saying "Junior Wash: $2.95." Whatever it was, it could have easily ended in tragedy.
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In the silent footage from the laundromat's security camera, the man scoops up the diaper-clad toddler, shoves him head-first into the front-loading washer, and shuts the door. He and the woman seem amused at first, but panic quickly sets in when they realize that they can't get the washer door open. It's locked automatically, and the tot is trapped inside as the washer starts to run. (Warning: The video is disturbing).
The toddler tumbles helplessly trapped in the machine, water pouring in, while the pair struggles with the locked door and then searches for help. Finally, an attendant runs over and disables the machine. It takes a few more seconds to get the door open and the child out.
There have been several recent reports about kids dying after getting trapped in a washing machine -- in March, 18-month-old Ollie Hebb drowned in a washing machine accident, and a 3-year-old was killed in France after his father put him in one and turned it on to punish him. The child in this video suffered a few bumps and bruises and is fine, according to the person who posted the clip -- at least, as fine as one can cared for by people who think it's funny to stick kids in washing machines. No word on whether they will be investigated for, well, anything.
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