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Family 'appalled' at neighbor who unplugged bounce house, trapping toddlers inside

Police are investigating an incident in which a neighbor unplugged a bounce house at a birthday party, trapping a dozen small children inside.
/ Source: TODAY

A little girl's family is upset and police are investigating after a neighbor yanked the plug on a bounce house during a little girl's birthday party, trapping several small children inside.

Surveillance video from a home in Port St. Lucie, Florida, shows kids playing in the inflated house when it starts losing air and collapses on them.

Deborah Romero was having a birthday party with a bounce house and a DJ for her daughter, Diana, when the scene turned to panic. About a dozen children, all of them only 2 or 3 years old, were trapped inside the deflated house.

"Chaos. Absolute chaos," the birthday girl's godfather, Glenn Hunt, told TODAY'S Gabe Gutierrez.

"Some of the kids were crying. One of them actually was kind of traumatized by the incident. Another one when he was being removed, his leg got a little injured."

Police are looking into surveillance video that shows a man in a red shirt walking into the backyard and unplugging the bounce house before calmly strolling back across the street.

"We believe that he thinks that he was pulling the plug to the DJ booth, but it didn't, it pulled the plug to the bounce house,'' Master Sgt. Frank Sabol of the Port St. Lucie Police Department said.

Police have identified the man but have not released his name. They attempted to question him, but said he was uncooperative. He could potentially be charged with trespassing.

The man's wife told NBC News he is declining comment and has hired a lawyer to give police his side of the story.

"I gotta say this is very irresponsible for somebody to do that,'' Sabol said.

Children have been injured and even killed in recent years by bounce houses that accidentally came unmoored in high winds and went airborne, but this is a new wrinkle.

"I was appalled,'' Hunt said. "I was absolutely appalled that somebody would have the nerve. Don't take matters into your own hands and cause harm to other individuals, especially children."


Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.