A birthday celebration turned sour after a neighbor allegedly unplugged a plastic bounce house that collapsed and sent two toddlers to the hospital.
Deborah Romero was throwing a party for her daughter's first birthday in Port. St. Lucie, Fla., when a plastic bounce house she had rented began to deflate rapidly, trapping a dozen children inside.
Parents rushed to rescue their children from the heavy plastic material and two had to be taken for medical treatment.
The mystery of what caused the deflation was apparently solved when the little girl's mother checked security cameras and found a man looking over their fence before pulling the plug on the bounce house.
Police discovered that the man lives in the neighborhood, but say he is not cooperating and has hired a lawyer.
"We think he thought he was pulling the plug on the DJ and loud music," said Master Sgt. Frank Sobel. "We are looking at a trespassing charge."
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According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, there were an estimated 64,657 children treated with bounce house-related injuries from 1990-2010, with a 15-fold increase from 1995-2010.
Injuries from bounce houses are on the rise, with the rate doubling between 2008 and 2010, the study states. In 2010, a total of 31 children per day were treated in the U.S. for an inflatable bouncer–related injury, which equals a child every 46 minutes nationally.
The reason for the rise in injuries has not been conclusively determined, but national news reports indicate the culprit could be the rise in the usage of bounce houses and the increasing number of do-it-yourself inflatable houses without the guidance of a professional.
A spokesperson for the Association of Inflatable Rental Company Operators previously told Inside Edition that jumping castles and other inflatable rides are safe, but they should not be used when it's windy, and should always be anchored properly.
Sobel emphasized that he has seen weather-related dangers before with bounce houses, and "that it's usually a big wind doing the damage. Not a cranky neighbor."