A disturbing surveillance video of a child trapped in a washing machine happened in Camden, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
The video, which has gained national attention, happened on May 11 at a laundromat located at 23rd and Federal Streets in Camden. The video drew millions of hits after being posted on YouTube and other Internet sites.
It shows a man putting the child, later identified as Saimeir David, in the machine, apparently as part of a “peek-a-boo” game. He then shut the door, which locked and started an automatic cycle with the child inside.
The man and a woman frantically pulled on the door for a few seconds as the child continued to spin, then ran to get help. Kong Ena, an employee at the laundromat, then quickly unplugged the machine, and the child, who did not appear to be hurt, was pulled to safety.
Workers called police when the incident happened. The woman and the man in the video were not present when police arrived however because they had taken Saimeir to the hospital to make sure he was alright. The unidentified man in the video later came back to collect his laundry about an hour later and claimed the boy was okay. Authorities say the matter does not appear to be criminal, but it has been referred to the state's Division of Youth and Family Services.
Investigators initially believed the man who placed Saimeir into the machine was the boy's father. The boy's mother Sakia David told NBC10 that was not the case however. According to Sakia, the woman in the video was the girlfriend of Saimeir's father who was babysitting the child at the time. Sakia says she doesn't know who the man in the video is. David also says she didn't even know about the incident until she watched the video on the news and thought she recognized the woman. When David confronted the woman about the incident, she tells NBC10 the woman denied it happened.
"She said it wasn't her," said David. "But when the cops came this morning to my house and told me to come outside, I knew it was my baby."
Sakia says police later questioned the babysitter who admitted it was her in the video. Police have not yet confirmed Sakia's claims however.