A 4-year-old left his house after having a bad dream and attempted to walk to his mothers home early Sunday morning to be considerate of his sleeping father, Madison police said.
The child told police he used the front door because he knew the garage made noise.
Joseph, 34, of Fitchburg, found the child more than a mile away from his father's home, wandering along the road on the 9200 block of Crosswinds Lane, police said.
Joseph, whose last name has not been released, stayed with the boy until Madison police and fire arrived.
Members of the Fire Department checked the boy for any medical problems and gave him a stuffed animal, according to a police report.
The boy was unable to give police any detailed information, such as his last name, address or phone number, police said. They calmed the child by letting him play with the squad car lights and siren. Police said he was then able to give more details that helped return him home to his father.