Luis Estrada thought the figure on the Sun Valley sidewalk early Thursday was a doll until he looked in the rear-view mirror of his minivan.
"I thought it was a toy or something, but I saw him move," Estrada said.
He put his minivan in reverse and found that what he thought was a toy was actually a toddler. The boy, wearing a t-shirt and diapers, was alone on a sidewalk at 4 a.m. behind a middle school in the 12100 block of West Allegheny Street near Kewen Avenue.
"He was crying and by himself," said Estrada.
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Estrada grabbed the boy and called police. Estrada followed officers to the station so he could retrieve his child carseat, which he allowed officers to use to transport the boy.
The 2- to 3-year-old boy was in good health, according to officers at the Foothill Division Station.
At about 6:15 a.m., the child's mother arrived at the station to pick up the boy. Police said a neighbor of the mother saw video of the child on television and called the boy's parents.
"He's safe and in good spirits," said Lt. Robert Davis. "We suspect he simply got out of his parents' home."
Police said it is unlikely criminal charges will be filed. The Department of Children and Family Services will conduct an interview with the parent, Davis said.
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