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Girl, 2, Rescued From Washer

A woman is arrested after her daughter almost drowns in the running machine at a coin laundry in Pomona.

May 26, 2003|Kurt Streeter | Times Staff Writer

A Pomona woman was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after her 2-year-old daughter was found locked inside a running washer at a coin-operated laundry, police said.

Responding to an emergency call at Lucy's Laundromat in Pomona on Saturday night, police and fire units found the girl locked inside the washing machine.

Unable to pry the machine open, police used batons to smash the glass-paned door. With the help of a Laundromat patron who reached through broken glass to hold the girl's head above water, police retrieved the girl, said a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman.

Firefighters resuscitated the girl, who was taken to Children's Hospital of Orange County, where she was listed in serious condition, police said.

"She had not drowned yet, but she was on her way there," said Capt. Dan Ramirez, one of the firefighters at the scene. "She was on her last breath. Fortunately, we got her back."

Ramirez said the rescue was chaotic, with the Laundromat filled with shocked patrons plus police and fire personnel desperate to save the girl. The man who held the girl's head above water cut his arm on the glass. Paramedics stopped the bleeding and he was taken to a hospital, fire officials said.

"We had to save the little girl, and suddenly, save the man who helped her," Ramirez said.

The girl's mother, Erma Osborne, 35, was arrested at the scene and charged with child endangerment. She was held Sunday at Pomona City Jail on $100,000 bail.

According to the Pomona Police Department, a surveillance video at the Laundromat showed Osborne placing the child inside the washing machine and shutting the door.

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