FORT LEE, N.J. – A New Jersey toddler learned more than he bargained for last week when he got wedged inside a new educational toy and had to be rescued by police.
Photos of the encounter between Luca Choe, 20 months, and Fort Lee police Sgt. Rick Hernandez are equal parts hilarious and adorable.
“It’s kind of comical if you think about the situation,” Luca’s mom, Soona Choe, told CBS New York. “I called them, and I’m like, ‘My kid’s stuck in a toy,’ and they’re like, ‘What kind of toy? What do you mean?”
Choe said her son’s new box-shaped toy is designed to teach about shapes, with holes in the sides in which to insert differently shaped blocks. Luca learned that “little boy” is not a shape when he took the top off, climbed into the square and got his legs and knees wedged inside.
His mother tried but could not get him out of the box, the news station reported. She called 911.
Hernandez was the officer who responded to their home. He said the toddler looked embarrassed by his quandary.
“When I got there his expression was just priceless,” Hernandez told the news station.
Choe and Hernandez were unable to take the toy apart because it was not put together with regular screws. Though a truck was on the way with the Jaws of Life, Hernandez decided to take matters into his own hands.
““I asked the mom, could I break it. She said, ‘I’ve tried. You can give it a shot,’” Hernandez said.
The officer was able to break the front panel and free Luca.
“I was like, ‘Thank goodness,’” Choe said. “I was so happy and grateful.”
Hernandez told CBS New York that the call to the Choe home was one of the good ones.
“It’s one of those calls that you’re happy to be on and leaves you smiling afterwards,” Hernandez said. “It’s always good to be able to help a child.”
The photos of Luca’s rescue went viral after Fort Lee Police Department officials shared them on social media. The department’s followers praised Hernandez’s quick thinking and joked about the situation.
“Who needs a Jack in the Box when you can have a baby in a box!” a commenter wrote on Facebook. “Thank God he’s OK! Job well done, FLPD!”
“Oh, boy! This child is gonna love these pics when he’s an adult!” another person wrote. “Thank you, officer.”
Choe told CBS New York she plans to keep the photos, along with the broken toy, to show her son when he is older.
By: Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group