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A Wisconsin bowing alley employee's quick action Sunday saved a toddler from what could have been serious injury after he was pulled into a ball return machine.

The (Eau Claire) Leader-Telegram reports that Andy Gardner, a 23-year-old college student, had wrapped up his shift and was about to leave Wagner's Lanes when he heard shouting.

A boy had walked down a bowling lane and had gotten so far that a mechanized arm deployed -- he had passed a laser that triggers it -- and dragged the boy and knocked-down bowling pins into a pit. Meanwhile, a pin setter was coming down.

"Everyone was gasping," said Neil Haas, according to the Leader-Telegram, who was bowling at the alley. "This kid was in really serious trouble."

The paper reports Gardner ran toward the boy, hit a "kill" switch to stop the apparatus that was moving pins, then after reaching the trapped toddler, pulled him to safety.

"He was crying and didn't want to move, but it didn't look like he'd been hurt," Gardner said, according to the Leader-Telegram. "I slid him towards me on his belly a little bit." The boy was then led back to his mother.

Gardner said he didn't know the boy's name or his family's, the Leader-Telegram reports,