In a video of the pulse-pounding rescue, Mannino is seen jumping out of his vehicle to get the child.
The young boy "escaped his mother's watchful eye" and left his house.
It was a heart-stopping moment as Sgt. Anthony Mannino, a 24-year veteran of the Naperville Police Department, saw the boy wandering onto Route 59, just inches away from speeding traffic.
The sergeant pulled over and parked his squad vehicle to block traffic in the lane.
Mannino was honored with a Life Saving Award from the police department Friday.
No one was hurt, which the police department attributes to Mannino's "observation while on patrol and quick reaction, placing his squad auto and himself between the child and traffic".
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The child wasn't injured.
A Naperville Police office rescued a toddler alone on a busy road in Naperville, Ill., May 2018. No charges were sought in the case.
He told CBS 2 that at first he thought he spotted a stray dog.
After about 30 strides, Mannino catches the child, according to the dashcam footage.
"I have twin boys", he said.