A North Texas police department is praising the selfless actions of a man who stopped on a busy, dark highway after making a shocking discovery on the shoulder.
Vincent Wiley said he still can’t believe his eyes, or more precisely, what he saw.
It was around 4:30 a.m. on June 5.
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Wiley was driving home after he got off work a little later than usual.
He was headed southbound on State Highway 121 near Hall-Johnson Road in Grapevine when he saw something move on the side of the road.
“As I got closer, I realized it was a kid,” he said. “I just slammed on my brakes and pulled over and when I got out, he just started running toward me.”
A 4-year-old boy wearing shoes and pajamas was wandering along the shoulder of the road.
“He started fading toward the freeway and I just kept coaxing him, coaxing him to come back and he ran back toward me and just jumped into my arms,” Wiley said. “It kind of seemed like he was relieved, like when he came toward me because he just came to me with his arms out and I picked him up and he was calm. And when I tried to sit him in the car so he wouldn’t be out on the road he started crying and I picked him up and he stopped again. He didn’t want me to put him down.”
Wiley scooped up the child and called 911.
He captured the moments that followed as police searched the area for his parents.
“I tried asking him where was his mom,” Wiley said. “He only pointed northbound on 121 and just kept repeatedly saying, ‘Mommy, mommy, mommy.' That’s all he would say.”
Police searched an apartment complex located about 300 yards away, but cannot confirm if the boy lives in the complex.
“I heard one officer say, ‘There’s no way this kid got here by himself,’” Wiley said. “But evidently he did.”
Officers checked surrounding neighborhoods and found no signs of the child’s parents, said the Grapevine Police Department in a press release.
The child was then taken into CPS custody.
“We were able to locate the parents about three hours later,” said Amanda McNew, Grapevine police spokesperson. “They were very upset that their child was out and they weren’t aware of it at the time.”
Police will not disclose who it happened to, but are quick to praise Wiley.
“Highways are a dangerous place for anyone to pull over and stop, and this man clearly put this child’s life first,” McNew said.
Wiley said he won’t soon forget the many drivers ahead of him that zoomed by without stopping, likely never even noticing the tiny life in need of saving.
“I’m just happy that I was paying attention,” he said.
Fortunately, the little boy was not injured.
Grapevine police said the boy’s parents have not been charged but the investigation by police and CPS continued.
"The family is now working with CPS to determine the next steps," Grapevine police said in a press release.