Prince George's County rescuers cut escalator open to free stuck boy

TEMPLE HILLS, Md. (WJLA) - On Thursday, Prince George's County rescuers cut an escalator apart to free a young boy whose hands and fingers got stuck under the handrail at the bottom of the moving staircase.

Now, bandages cover the swelling and mangled skin of Jerrin Poyner’s tiny hand. Pain medication has left the six-year-old too tuckered to talk about his harrowing ordeal inside Iverson Mall’s Burlington Coat Factory.

All four of his fingers were consumed by the handrail of the moving staircase on an escalator Jerrin has ridden before, says his mother Stephanie.

"He was doing like I always tell him to -- holding the rail to come down the escalator," she said. "I guess he was holding too far, and it got caught between the belt return and the metal that encases."

Fortunately, those metal steps slammed to a halt.

"He screamed 'Mommy!' as soon as it happened," said his mother.

“Save me!” was his scream, as customers raced to Stephanie’s aid with baby oil, anything to free the crying child.

"One guy lent me his keys, trying to unscrew the screws. They were stripped so I couldn't get the screws out," explained Stephanie.

She claims that throughout the entire ordeal, employees never approached, and as for the store itself, no one said a thing.

Prince George’s County Fire had to eventually saw the escalator apart, and then remove part of a wall to get the little boy out. It reportedly took the medics and the firefighters almost three hours to get his hand loose.

The six-year-old was dosed with morphine and raced to a hospital, where doctors found no broken bones. However, it is too early to tell whether there is any nerve damage.

Stephanie says what is now damaged is her confidence in the store – which has still not reached out at all.