A 911 call on Monday, May 4, brought emergency teams and a fleet of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department vehicles (including battalion chief 1's red Chevy Suburban) to the Lyceum Theatre entrance of Horton Plaza.
According to SDFP battalion chief Randy Ballard, an 18-month-old male who had been riding with his mother on a down-escalator got his finger trapped and then crushed. Ballard stated that several firefighter-rescue personnel had to dismantle part of the escalator to free the child.
Ballard’s records show that the emergency call was received at 3:46 p.m. and he estimated that at approximately 4:15 p.m. the toddler was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Firefighter-Paramedic Trevor Raymond, who participated in freeing the child from the escalator, stated, “When we arrived at the scene, we found a child with one of the fingers of his left hand stuck between the lower stair and the metal cover plate into which it feeds. We used a screwdriver to remove three screws and then a vise-grip to remove the cover plate, and we discovered that his finger had been forced through the forks at the edge of the cover plate.... We sent him to the hospital with the cover plate still attached to his hand so that it could be removed there....
“He wasn’t even crying, just whimpering a little.... I believe the only thing the firefighter-paramedics had to do before taking him to the hospital was give him an IV and some pain medication.”
A representative of the Westfield Horton Plaza management office declined to fill in any of the details unknown to SDFP personnel but said, “This was an unfortunate incident.”