Firefighters free child from Greenwich gumball machine
GREENWICH — A young boy became trapped Saturday when he tried get a gumball from a machine inside a barbershop.
“We didn’t know what to do, so we called the fire department,” said Tony Socci, 68, barber and co-owner of the Palms Barbershop at 20 Church St., in a phone call.
That was after trying to free the boy’s hand by spraying it with oil, according to a fellow barber who goes by Glennn, with three N’s, 56, of Stamford.
The boy, who is around 4 years old, managed to “wedge his finger between the mechanism that spins and allows the gumball to drop,” said Greenwich Fire Lt. Tom Lenart in a phone call. “He was a little concerned ... because he didn’t know if he’d ever get his finger out.”
Unlike the gumball machine in Woody Allen’s 1969 film “Take the Money and Run,” this one was bolted to the floor.
After Socci called 911, the barbershop became filled with firefighters, police officers and puzzled patrons.
A photo taken by Glennn shows the boy surrounded by first responders, tethered to the gumball machine, with a white lollipop stick poking out of his mouth. According to Glennn, someone mentioned yanking the boy’s arm out out by force, which made him panic. He gave him the lollipop to calm him down.
Lenart and his fellow firefighters eventually freed the child by breaking apart the machine. They busted the plastic encasing around the gumballs with a pair of pliers and dismantled the feeder with a screwdriver.
The boy’s finger was unharmed.
Firefighters posed images of the destroyed gumball machine on the department’s Facebook page.
“Those guys were so good with that kid,” said Glennn said, in a phone call. “If ever get in an accident or get sick or something I want it to be in Greenwich.”
The boy eventually got his haircut, according to Socchi.