KATY, Texas -- Piper Reuss is enjoying some happy times these days, far removed from the moment the 3-year-old’s grandmother may never forget.
“It really shakes me up,” said Evelina Reuss. “That’s something that will stay with you. I could have lost her that day.”
The day she referred to happened last July at a McDonald’s Playplace in Katy. Piper was playing at a gaming station when something went wrong. "We jump up and run and she's hanging with her toes dangling,” Reuss said. “She's the color of burgundy. She can't talk."
Reuss said a black controller cord that had been dangling from one of the station’s arms was wrapped around Piper’s neck.
"When we tried to get her out, the more we would move her, the tighter the chord would get," Reuss said.
Within moments, she said a worker handed a pair of scissors to one of the customers. The customer cut the cord and freed the little girl.
Reuss said she expected the McDonald's employees to pick up the phone and dial 911. She claimed they never did and simply went back to work, without ever showing any concern for how Piper was doing.
Reuss drove her to the hospital herself. Doctors treated Piper for the gashes around her neck but the emotional scars could cut deeper.
"You go to a place like this and your last thought is that something like this could happen,” Reuss said.
Attorney Jason Gibson has filed a lawsuit seeking damages.
"It's their responsibility and it's their duty,” Gibson said. “They're providing the play area. They need to take the steps to make sure it's a safe environment for the kids. In this case, that didn't happen."
Calls to the owners of the McDonald’s where the incident took place were not returned.