A Good Samaritan is being credited with rescuing a baby from the side of a "very busy" Louisiana highway, just moments after a man allegedly dropped the child off in its infant carrier in road’s median and sped away.
“I looked back and he took off leaving the child there, so I flipped a U-turn in the grass to get to the baby,” Luke Dufrene, 23, told The Courier.
Dillon Terrebonne, 27, is now facing charges of domestic abuse with child endangerment and unauthorized use of a vehicle after allegedly assaulting the baby’s mother before abandoning the child on U.S. Highway 90 in Raceland, the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement,
Capt. Brennan Matherne, the public information officer for the sheriff's office, described the "very busy" highway to Oxygen.com as the "only U.S. Highway that passes through our Parish" with a speed limit of 65 mph.
"It would be dangerous for even an adult pedestrian walking along the highway, let alone a small child," he said.
Authorities said Terrebonne had been driving the woman’s SUV on Feb. 25, with her and the baby inside, when a fight brought out between the pair. Terrebonne stopped along the highway, got out of the SUV and walked to the passenger side of the vehicle where he allegedly “began striking the woman in the head and strangled her.”
“The woman was able to free herself from Terrebonne and exit the vehicle,” the sheriff's office stated.
Terrebonne quickly got back into the car and began driving off. He stopped a short time later and deposited the baby, still in the infant carrier seat, “on the side of the highway” and kept driving westbound while the baby’s mother was frantically running toward her baby, authorities said.
Dufrene intervened to keep the child safe.
“I pulled into the median and put my truck in front of the child because I knew how dangerous this highway was,” he said, adding that when he was pulling up he noticed two women running toward him. “One was a witness and the other was the mother.”
By the time the mother arrived, she was out of breath from running the approximately one mile it took to reach her child.
“I was running down the highway as fast as I could, but thank God witnesses seen and got to him before I could,” the mother, who was not identified, told the newspaper.
Dufrene said he just acted on instinct to rescue the child.
“I never been in them shoes before, but I just knew I had to act fast for that child,” he told The Courier. “And I can’t help but appreciate the kind words everyone is giving me, but I just feel like I did what any good human would do.”
Matherne said the woman suffered "visible minor injuries," including bruising from the alleged attack.
The sheriff’s office said officers with the Abbeville Police Department spotted Terrebonne driving the vehicle later that night and took him into custody.
He’s currently being held in Vermillion Parish awaiting transport to Lafourche Parish Correctional Complex.
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