Mom to press charges over boy in wash machine

May 25, 2012 5:18:04 AM PDT
The mother of a toddler who briefly got stuck inside an active washing machine at a southern New Jersey laundromat says she wants to press charges.

Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Thursday, Sakia David says she wants her baby sitter punished for allowing a male friend to put the child in the machine.

On Wednesday, David spoke to Action News and let us meet the child at the center of this case, 1-year-old Saimeir Bush, who appeared happy and healthy.

Samier was with his babysitter, whom the family wouldn't name, and a male friend, who David says she does not know, at the Federal Laundromat in Camden a couple of weeks ago.

The man was apparently playing a game with the little boy when he put the child in the washer.

Both he and the woman quickly realized the spin cycle was on and the child was trapped.

"She never said anything about it, that's the thing. I found out yesterday when I looked at the tape, they thought I was going crazy. I'm like I'm not going crazy, I know my son and I know you. She just kept saying it wasn't her," David said.

Sakia David says she first saw the video Tuesday night.

The son of laundromat owner Laurie Chhour posted the May 11th surveillance video on YouTube last week and titled it "Epic Parenting Fail at a Laundromat."

"It was not right to do something like that to a little kid. How you going to shove a little kid in a washing machine? He's a human being," witness Carmen Rodriguez said.

The laundromat says the man didn't realize the machine had already been filled with money so when he loaded his child in and locked the door the washer started.

"He was very scared and was like 'oh, I'm in trouble,'" Chhour said.

Laundromat worker Kong Eng ran over to the screaming couple, opened a back panel, shut off the power to the washer and freed the boy.

"I pulled the baby out and then the baby still had a life and I'm very happy," Eng said.

"They should be supervising their children better and playing around in a laundromat is not a place to be playing at all," laundromat customer Michael Saccomanno of Camden said.

The strong emotions continued online where the video has received more than 6-million hits and thousands of angry comments.

Witnesses say the boy came out with a few bruises but he was laughing and seemed to be fine by the time his parents took him home.

"I was thinking of putting up a sign. It sounds ridiculous, but it protects me," Chhour said.

The family is angry the babysitter never told them about what happened.

They learned of the incident when police and county investigators showed up at the house Wednesday.

"My thoughts are nobody should ever put a child in a washing machine," grandmother Doreen Bay said.

Sakia David says she hasn't spoke to the babysitter as of yet.

"It's not what I'm going to say to her. It's going to be what's going to happen," David said.

The case has been referred to the Division of Youth and Family Services which will conduct its own investigation.