Luca accidentally got himself caught in the toy box this week and required a police officer's help to get free

By Joelle Goldstein
January 26, 2019 01:03 AM
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Credit: Fort Lee Police Department

You’ve heard of Jack in the box, but what about baby in a box?

That’s what happened when a New Jersey toddler got himself into a sticky situation earlier this week.

Soona Choe said her 20-month-old son Luca was playing with his activity box toy when he somehow managed to climb inside of it, ABC 7 reported.

After attempting to free her son on her own to no avail, Choe resorted to calling 911 for help. As he sat stuck inside the toy, Luca repeatedly told his mother in Korean that he was in “pain,” a spokesperson at Fort Lee Police Department told PEOPLE.

“I was panicking, I had to get him out, so I had no choice; I didn’t have the tools,” she told ABC 7. “He got in easily but could not come back out.”

That’s when Sergeant Rick Hernandez arrived and rescued the little boy from the toy by carefully breaking the front panel of the box.

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Luca with Sergeant Rick Hernandez
| Credit: Fort Lee Police Department

“His knees and legs [were] underneath the lip on one side and his back was stuck up against the other side, so trying to pull him out would’ve caused injury to either the legs or the back,” Sgt. Hernandez later explained to reporters during a press conference.

“I was able to pull out the front panel,” he continued. “[But] when it cracked, his grandmother got frightened and screamed.”

Despite the scary noise, Luca was just fine and the officer was luckily able to wiggle and maneuver the boy out of the box unharmed.

To capture the memorable moment, Choe snapped a photo of her son before and after he was rescued — the “after” shot features Luca sitting in Sgt. Hernandez’s arms — which she and the police department shared it to social media. She jokingly told ABC 7 that she intends on bringing the incident up to Luca for the rest of his life.

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Sgt. Hernandez’s impromptu rescue has since caused a number of social media users to praise him for his work.

“I bet he had to really think outside the box to get him out,” wrote one Facebook user.

“Thank God for FLPD, toys can be so dangerous,” added someone else.

At this time, it is not clear what specific toy brand caused the accidental entrapment.