Cop Spots Toddler Running Along Highway, Safely Chases Him Down Before It's Too Late


Children are notorious for getting themselves into trouble. Sometimes they don’t know any better and other times they are just being naughty.

Chaos immediately ensues the moment a toddler escapes from under the watchful eye of his mother.

In May, a toddler had crept away from his mother and darted out the front door of their house in Naperville, Illinois.

Before his mother knew what was happening, the little boy dashed down the street and started running on the busy road.

Luckily for this boy and his mother, a quick-thinking Naperville Police Department officer was driving by.

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Sgt. Anthony Mannino’s dash cam captured the heart-wrenching moment of the child running into traffic, and the daring rescue.

As the 1-year-old ran closer to the cars rushing by, the sergeant quickly pulled his car over and chased after the boy.

Sgt. Mannino caught up to the boy and took him out of harm’s way. “You’re ok. You’re ok,” he said to the boy.

A few moments later, the mother arrived and told the sergeant that her son had run two blocks from their home before he was saved by the cop.

“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,” Naperville Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Sgt. Mannino earned the police department’s Life Saving Award on June 7 as a thank you for his heroism.

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“I did what any of my peers would have done,” Mannino said. “Position that car, get out and quickly corral that kid before something bad would’ve happened.”

Thanks to the quick actions of Mannino, this little boy hopefully learned not to go running off into the street.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith