It was a scene that could easily have ended in tragedy.
But thanks to the quick thinking and bravery of a police officer from the Naperville Police Department, a toddler’s life was saved and reunited with his mother.
Recently, dashcam footage emerged showing Sgt. Anthony Mannino while he was on station at Route 59 in Naperville, just on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois.
The highway is a busy one with lots of trucks and small vehicles just whizzing by. Sgt. Mannino was in his cruiser when he suddenly spotted a toddler running along the shoulder of the road straight onto the slow lane.
The police officer can be heard calling it in saying, “Thirty-one, trying to corral a 1-year-old boy running across 59 just north of North Aurora.”
We next see Sgt. Mannino running as a truck speeds by, yelling to the kid “Hey! Hey!” It was a tense few seconds but luckily, the boy listens and stops, allowing the sergeant to run up to him and pull him aside to safety.
He can be heard talking to the boy and the nervous tremor in the kid’s voice is obvious. Finally, Sgt. Mannino lifts the boy and carries him back to his car.
It’s not clear how the 1-year-old got separated from his mother but she should thank her lucky stars that her son was returned to her unharmed.
In their social media account, the Naperville Police Department congratulated Sgt. Mannino with the words, “Well done sergeant.” The statement further added, “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.”
The hero police officer definitely deserved the Life Saving Award that the department had awarded to him last June 7.