Society

Man Unplugs Bounce House, Injuring Kids (Video)

| by David Bonner

An unidentified Florida man was caught on a surveillance camera unplugging a bounce house with children still inside it (video below).

The children were attending a birthday party, reports WPEC. Deborah Romero, the mother of the birthday girl, says the bounce house was in her backyard when the stranger pulled the plug. Two of the partygoers were taken to the hospital, one suffering from distress, the other suffering from injuries caused by being trapped under the heavy plastic.

The video shows the bounce house collapsing while over a dozen kids, ages 2 and 3, were playing inside. "We were very nervous about the kids because it was extremely hot, and they were trapped inside the bounce house," Romero said.

Neighborhood parents rushed over to help, she added. "We couldn’t really reach for all the kids, and we unfortunately had to pull one of the kids by his leg."

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After examining the surveillance camera footage, Romero noticed an unknown man, who appears to be in his 60s, walking over to look at the party. Then he unplugs the bounce house and walks back across the street.

Employing the surveillance footage, a YouTube user created a movie trailer parody called "Bad Neighbor," which has since gone viral.

Set against an ominous soundtrack, the trailer shows the man unplugging the bounce house, with a title sequence that reads: "In a world where grumpy old men live, one piece of trash defied humanity and dared to ruin a birthday party for a princess. The man became tradition's public enemy."

The video caught the attention of a local television news reporter who posted a comment requesting to use play the video on-air. "Glenn... Jon Shainman from WPTV here," the reporter wrote. "Can I use this for a story today?"

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According to the WPTV website, "Jon has won several broadcasting awards and covered many of the biggest stories in the area from the field, and on the anchor desk, including the Presidential election of 2000, the aftermath of the anthrax attacks, and the hurricanes that roared ashore in 2004 and 2005."

Consumer Reports warns that bounce houses can be a danger, even when a mean neighbor doesn't unplug it. "Kids can pile on top of other kids, which can cause broken bones and other injuries," the trusted organization notes. "And if the structure deflates unexpectedly, it can trap children inside." It cites one case in Arizona in which a bounce house was lifted by the wind and blown across a busy street, with kids still playing inside.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, inflatable slides and bounce houses accounted for about 4,900 emergency room visits in 2004.

As for the incident at Deborah Romero's house, police canvassed the neighborhood, but the mystery man in the video was never identified.

Sources: WPEC, WPTV, Consumer Reports, Glenn Hunt/YouTube / Photo credit: Azbounce4kids/Wikimedia Commons

Will the mystery man ever be found?
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