A child plays in a bounce house April 9, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif.
Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Photo: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Toddlers trapped after neighbor pulls plug on birthday bounce house

“Today” reported that Deborah Romero was hosting a birthday party for her 1-year-old daughter, Diana, which included the bounce house and a DJ. Several birthday guests, all of them 2 or 3 years old, were jumping inside the bounce house when suddenly, the inflatable started to deflate. 

In surveillance footage from Romero’s backyard, which was made public by Port St. Lucie police, parents can be seen racing to the bounce house to help free the children.

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“Chaos. Absolute chaos,” Glenn Hunt, godfather of the birthday girl, told “Today” about the incident. “Some of the kids were crying. One of them actually was kind of traumatized by the incident. Another one, when he was being removed, his leg got a little injured.”

The mood of the party went from alarmed to shocked when additional surveillance footage appeared to show a neighbor casually walking up to the side of Romero’s home and unplugging the electrical cord to the blower that kept the bounce house inflated. He then walks back across the street. 

A spokesman for the Port St. Lucie Police Department told “Today” that investigators do not believe the man, who they have identified but have not named publicly, intended to hurt the children. 

“We believe he thinks that he was pulling the plug to the DJ booth,” Master Sgt. Frank Sabol said. “But it didn’t. It pulled the plug to the bounce house.

“I’ve got to say, this is very irresponsible for somebody to do that.”

The neighbor, who has been uncooperative with police, could face trespassing charges, “Today” reported. His wife said that he has hired a lawyer. 

Hunt said he was appalled by the footage. 

“I was absolutely appalled that somebody would have the nerve,” Hunt said. “Don’t take matters into your own hands and cause harm to other individuals, especially children.”

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