Cory Cannon was driving through Lakewood Township, New Jersey, around 5 p.m. Saturday when he spotted something in the middle of the street.
He thought it was a toy. But then it moved.
Cannon, who has a 4-month-old daughter, came to a heart-stopping realization that it was a baby crawling across the multi-lane road. The speed limit of the street, Joe Parker Road, is 40 miles per hour.
"I knew I needed to get some sort of proof and my GPS was open on my phone, so I used my work vehicle to slow down traffic behind me and took the pic as I was exiting the vehicle and halting oncoming cars," the 41-year-old told Asbury Park Press.
After he snapped a photo for proof and another driver helped him block traffic, he started yelling for neighbors who were outside to help.
"Someone actually came over, picked the child up, said it wasn't her child," Cannon told WCBS. "So, we walked her over to the adjacent house, knocked on the door, the door was wide open. A toddler came and answered the door initially. Then the adult came." They explained what happened and gave the child back.
Lakewood Police Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith told the Washington Post that the family wasn't aware the 10-month-old child had left the house until Cannon and the neighbor came knocking. Investigators think the infant might have left through a door that was left open by an older sibling. Police are investigating the incident with the state child protection department.
"Parenting at its absolute worst," Cannon wrote on Facebook in a post that has since been deleted. He later told WCBS that he hopes people are more aware of their surroundings and can pay more attention to their children.
The viral post has sparked outrage from people calling for police to file charges against the baby's parents.
"It was an accident," a woman at the home where the baby lived told an Asbury Park Press reporter who knocked on the door. She didn't open the door, but thanked the reporter for the opportunity to comment and said she couldn't talk as she was busy taking care of the baby.
Neighbors and friends of the family are also devastated by what people are saying online, adding that the child's parents are devoted people who made a mistake.