POMONA, California (AP) - A 2-year-old girl was in stable but
guarded condition after being pulled from a locked, running washing
machine, and the girl's mother remained in jail after allegedly
placing her there, police said.
"The infant's going to make it," police Sgt. A.C. Cox said
Erma Osborne, 35, of Pomona, was arrested for investigation of
child endangerment and was being held on $100,000 bail.
Officers were called to Lucy's Laundromat at 5:25 p.m. on
Saturday after frantic efforts by the girl's mother and bystanders
to unlock the door failed.
Police had to smash the front window of the washer with a baton
to rescue the girl, who was submerged in water.
"I pulled my baton, and I did like a baseball swing and broke
the glass," police Officer Willie Morataya told KABC-TV.
The girl was taken to a hospital where she was initially listed
in serious condition with cuts, scrapes, bruises. She had inhaled
some water, Sgt. Matt Stone said.
Surveillance camera footage showed that the woman placed her
daughter in one washer, then removed her and placed her in a second
front-loading washer, which turned on when she closed the door,
Stone said.
"I don't believe what the camera says," the girl's
grandmother, Mary Osborne, told KCBS-TV
Friends and neighbors expressed shock and disbelief.
"She wouldn't do anything like that. That's not Erma,"
neighbor John Herring told the TV station. "She's a nice, loving
mother who takes care of her kids."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)