"I just feel like I did what any good human would do," said the passerby who saved the child.
Trigger warning: The story contains details of physical abuse that might be distressing to some readers.
When Luke Dufrene, 23, was on his way to work one evening, he saw the dreadful sight of a man getting out of his vehicle and leaving a baby alone on the side of a dangerous highway. Alarmed to see the infant being abanoned on the median of a busy highway, Luke immediately turned his vehicle around and decided to remove the child from harm's way.
Investigations found that the man who cruelly left the baby behind was Dillon Terrebonne, 27. The man had reportedly assaulted the baby's mother just minutes before dumping the child on the side of the highway in Louisiana.
What spurred the heartbreaking series of events was a heated argument that broke out between Dillon and the baby's mother as they were driving down U.S. Highway 90 in Raceland on February 25, 2021. Dillon was the one driving the woman's SUV and in a fit of rage, he stopped the vehicle and jumped out before making his way towards the passenger seat, according to details revealed by Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office.
Turning violent, Dillon began beating up the woman in front of the child. He tried strangling her before she somehow managed to escape his clutches and get out of the car. With the infant baby still in the car seat, Dillon hurried inside the vehicle and drove off, leaving the child's mother stranded in the middle of the highway. After driving about a mile, the abusive man stopped to leave the little one along with the car seat on the side of the road.
Also on the highway, at the right place at the right time, was Luke who witnessed Dillon detaching the car seat from the back and "dropping" the baby off on the median. "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," said Luke, according to USA TODAY.
Right behind was the child's mother, frantically running down to save her child.
"I pulled into the median and put my truck in front of the child because I knew how dangerous this highway was. And when I was pulling up, two women were approaching. One was a witness and the other was the mother," recalled Luke (pictured below with his girlfriend and son).
The mother "was out of breath from running," Luke added. "I stayed with them while the lady called 911 and gave the description of the vehicle. I stayed the latest I could to make sure everything was under control."
Remembering the tormenting moments of her baby dumped on the highway, the mother said, "I was running down the highway as fast as I could, but thank God witnesses seen and got to him before I could. It took all day to locate (Terrebonne). He went back to his hometown in Abbeville and was caught and arrested there. The man that seen what happened pulled off on the side the road right away and got to my baby. Then I got to my baby a couple seconds after. [sic]"
Not long after the incident, officers from the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Dillon and charged him with domestic abuse battery involving strangulation and child endangerment, along with the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
While the mother is relieved to have her baby with her safe and sound, Luke said that he is no hero but merely did what anybody else would do in his place. "I never been in them shoes before, but I just knew I had to act fast for that child, [sic]" Luke said. "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."
Cover image: (L) Representational Image (Getty Images | Photo by Johner Images) and (R) Source: Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office