It was a normal day for Sergeant Anthony Mannino as he was driving down a Chicago highway – until he saw a startling situation developing on the side of the road.

Initially, Mannino thought that the moving thing in the right lane was a stray dog – but then he discovered that it was actually 1-year-old boy who was running down the road without any awareness for the speeding vehicles that were dangerously close to his path.

Terrified by the scene, Mannino hurriedly stopped his vehicle in traffic, got out of his cruiser, and chased after the boy. Once the 24-year-old police veteran managed to catch up to the toddler, he befriended the youngster, scooped him up into his arms, and led him back to the cruiser.

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According to the Naperville Police Department, the mother lived just two blocks away from where Mannino picked up the child. The woman had been stepping out of her house with the boy when he suddenly took off running. Shortly after Mannino found the boy, the distraught mother arrived on the scene.

The Naperville Police Department posted the dash cam video on Facebook saying, “Last month, this youngster escaped his mother’s watchful eye, left his house and was found by Sgt. Anthony Mannino running on Route 59!

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“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,” they added.

The police department also says that they gave Mannino the Life Saving Award in recognition for his heroic actions.

But Mannino, who is a father to twin boys, says that he is simply glad that the incident didn’t end in disaster.

(WATCH the video below)

Share The Harrowing Footage With Your FriendsPhoto by Naperville Police Department