In a scene that would be frightening for any parent, a 1-year-old toddler was caught on a police car dashcam running down a busy highway, but the police officer responded quickly and rescued the child who got away from his mother, saving his life.
This story comes out of Illinois.
Sgt. Anthony Mannino, a police officer from Naperville, was heading down Route 59 and that’s when he spotted the toddler, who he thought at first was a dog, running down the right lane of a busy highway.
As cars passed by at high speeds, the youngster seemed to veer towards them and then back.
Sgt. Mannino, got out of his car and called for the child to come to him, but instead, the child, who seemed to be enjoying his dangerous adventure, ran from him.
Running quickly, Mannino was able to catch the child and grab him up in his arms.
“You’re okay; you’re okay,” Mannino told the child as he brought him back to his car and safety.
The quick thinking of Sgt. Mannino to use his police vehicle to shield the child from traffic while he sprinted to rescue him added to his heroism and was acknowledged by the Naperville Police Department in a Facebook post:
Last month, this youngster escaped his mother’s watchful eye, left his house and was found by Sgt. Anthony Mannino running on Route 59! Luckily, no one was hurt, and we attribute that to Sgt. Mannino’s observation while on patrol and quick reaction, placing his squad car and himself between the child and traffic. On June 7, Sgt. Mannino was presented the department’s Life Saving Award. Well done, Sergeant.
Take a look at the video below.
“It’s attention I’m not accustomed to,” Mannino said in an interview Tuesday.
The Chicago Tribune adds:
Mannino said he was uncertain about what to do to find the child’s parents when the boy’s mother came running toward his squad car, which still had its lights flashing. She lived just a couple of blocks from the intersection, although he declined to say specifically where or to identify her.
“She was very thankful that day,” he said. “She was overwhelmed.”
Naperville police spokeswoman Kelley Munch said the toddler let himself out of the house when his mother wasn’t looking, and had been gone just a few minutes when Mannino spotted him. The incident was deemed an accident and the mother wasn’t charged, Munch said.
While we report on many police officers who operate more like tyrants than those who keep the peace and seek to operate above the law, it’s nice to have stories like this that we can also point out that there are cops out there doing their jobs with honor.
Well done, Sgt. Mannino!