UPDATE 9/26/12 @ 6 p.m.
ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Stuck in a Mexican restaurant -- a 16-year-old boy has given a whole new meaning to the phrase "hanging out" after his attempt to steal some cash left him lodged in a vent.
This is a story that already has people talking after police and firefighters spent hours freeing the kid, who was both literally and now figuratively just passing through the area Wednesday morning.
“I come straight into the kitchen and hear someone say, 'Help me, I need some help,” said Javier, a cook at Rancho Grande restaurant.
“His rear end was sticking out of here and one of the cooks didn't know what was going on and kind of poked at him," said Adolfo Magana, owner of Rancho Grande.
It's not a regular part of opening duties at Rancho Grande Restaurant in Ashland. But on Wednesday morning, he couldn't start cooking a thing because of what -- or who -- was hanging out of the exhaust vent.
“Get out of there and he said, ‘I can't’. Call the police, please. So, I call the police and now it's a big mess,” Javier said.
It turns out a 16-year-old boy from Cleveland passing through the area got stuck while trying to break into the restaurant. What he thought would be some quick and easy cash turned into a long and exhausting nightmare when he slid down an air duct and became stuck.
“Honestly, if he was mine, I probably would have beat him,” said Michelle Mendoza-Moyers.
Getting the teen out was no easy feat. It required a full emergency rescue response complete with ladder truck. Mendoza-Moyers also works at the restaurant and captured some of that rescue on tape.
“He was really eager to get out. He was in there crying and couldn't move. His legs were stuck in the vent. So, they had to tie ropes around him,” Managa said.
“That's when they were hoisting him down from the roof. He was really limp and dehydrated,” Mendoza-Moyers said.
“All he got away with was a bunch of grease,” Managa said.
What the restaurant got was something money can't buy -- publicity for their grand opening next week.
This is a story that has people talking already. Ironically enough, the Ashland Fire Department recently completed a confined space rescue training class.
According to Ashland Police, a teenager from Cleveland was passing through Ashland and needed some cash. So, he decided to break into Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant on Winchester Avenue in Ashland.
The teen decided the best entrance was the oven air vent on the roof on the building. The attempted robbery started some time in the overnight hours of Tuesday. But, when he started down the vent -- he got stuck. He wasn’t found until 9 a.m. Wednesday.
When the cook came in to work, he could hear someone calling for help. The cook walked into the kitchen looking for the person calling for help – that’s when he saw someone's butt hanging above the oven. The teen asked the cook to call 911.
It took firefighters six attempts and over two hours to get the would-be robber out of the vent. The teen wasn’t injured during the mishap – just embarrassed.
The restaurant owner tells WSAZ.com that the only thing the teen took from the store was grease.
After the teen was pulled from the vent, he thanked all of the emergency responders for helping to escape.
Charges against the teen are pending at this time.