Two babysitters from Massachusetts have been arrested for putting a baby into a refrigerator.
The two teenage girls were charged on Aug. 8 with child endangerment and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon after posting a Snapchat video of themselves refrigerating the baby under their care, reports Daily Mail.
The video shows them laughing as they heard screaming from inside the closed refrigerator door. Moments later, they are seen opening the door and removing the infant, but it is unclear how long the victim was inside.
The next scene shows a person holding the baby in another room of the house.
The incident reportedly occurred in Danvers, Massachusetts, on Aug. 7, according to NECN.
The Essex County District Attorney’s Office said the two girls were arrested in Danvers on Aug. 8.
“This past evening at approximately 9:30 p.m., Danvers officers were notified by Swampscott police about a potential situation,” Danvers Police Chief Patrick Ambrose said regarding the arrest.
The names of the babysitters are not being released because they are juveniles.
In an interview with NECN, the baby’s mother, Bonnie Brogna, said she was away from the house for a little over half an hour when the Snapchat video was posted.
“I was horrified,” she said. “I didn’t expect that to happen. These teenagers, I don’t believe they did it to harm my child. Teenagers are silly, stupid, foolish — they do things like that — and I’ve been a teenager before. It’s pretty clear to see that they were joking and laughing. They obviously didn’t know the severity of it.”
Brogna said one of the babysitters was a family member, while the other was a family friend.
The Department of Children and Families said it is investigating in collaboration with law enforcement. The child is reportedly doing well and is at home with family.
Since the passage of the Refrigerator Safety Act in 1956, all new refrigerators sold in the United States must be designed to be “easily openable from the inside,” reports BuzzFeed.
Scientific studies were devoted to the issue, including a 1958 article titled “Behavior of Young Children Under Conditions Simulating Entrapment in Refrigerators,” which was published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The legal mandate for safer refrigerators ultimately led to the familiar current design, in which a magnetic mechanism allows doors to stay closed but still easy to push open from the inside.
Sources: Daily Mail, NECN, BuzzFeed / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Cosoleto/Wikimedia Commons, NECN via Daily Mail