HOUMA, La. – Luke Dufrene said he saw something disturbing as he was driving to work Thursday evening.
The 23-year-old Lockport, Louisiana, man said he was on his commute when he saw the driver of a vehicle "dropping a baby off" on the median of a highway.
"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,” Dufrene said.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office said a man abandoned an infant on the side of a highway in Raceland after physically assaulting the boy's mother during an argument.
Dillon Terrebonne, 27, was later charged with domestic abuse battery involving strangulation, child endangerment and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Authorities said they later learned the woman and her infant had been riding with Terrebonne while he drove her SUV.
After an argument broke out, Terrebonne stopped the SUV, got out and walked to the passenger seat, where he began striking the victim in the head and strangling her, police said. The woman managed to free herself and escape the vehicle.
Terrebonne got back into the SUV and drove away, police said. He stopped after about a mile to detach the infant's car seat from the back seat. With the baby in it, Terrebonne then placed the car seat on the road's shoulder and continued driving.
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As the mother made a frantic run to her child, Dufrene said he saw the incident unfold.
“I pulled into the median and put my truck in front of the child because I knew how dangerous this highway was,” Dufrene said. “And when I was pulling up, two women were approaching. One was a witness and the other was the mother."
The mother said Terrebonne drove about a mile down the highway before placing her infant on the shoulder and left the area.
"She was out of breath from running," Dufrene said. "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.”
“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 said. “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.”
Terrebonne was transferred to the Lafourche Parish jail, where he is being held without bail. Authorities said additional charges could be pending.
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Though the mother said she is still mentally and physically hurt, she was happy to report her baby has not been injured.
Dufrene said he doesn’t consider himself a hero and did what any good Samaritan would do.
“I never been in them shoes before, but I just knew I had to act fast for that child,” he 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.”
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This article originally appeared on The Courier: Lockport, Louisiana, man recounts saving abandoned infant on highway