HOUSTON (FOX 26) - There is a sign at Houston Fire Station 68 which reads simply "compassion."
Tuesday morning, there was proof of it.
A young mother under obvious duress was in need of safe harbor for her 11-month-old son.
"She had no income. She had nowhere to stay. She had nowhere to go. She had no way to feed him. She was out of diapers. She had no food for him, nothing. She couldn't take care of him anymore and thought, I need put him somewhere that can," said HFD Captain John Nanninga, who was on duty when the mother and child arrived.
Nanninga didn't blink an eye.
"I sat in the back with him and rocked him to sleep," he said.
A peaceful hour passed before the little boy's mother returned.
Frantic and fearing harm from her child's father, Corterra Payton chose flight over fight. A barely running car and a need to protect her little boy made Station 68 her best option, but not an easy one.
"There's gotta be another way, you know, I'm just giving up too easy. I got to do something else instead of just leave him there," recalled Payton in an interview with FOX 26.
A father himself, Captain Nanninga says sometimes parents under pressure just need a chance to collect themselves.
"She was going to be back for the kid, because she obviously cared for the child," said Nanninga.
Upon her return to Fire station 68, Payton actually welcomed the presence of police and Child Protective Services.
"I said, 'Let me go back. Maybe they can talk and get me into a shelter, maybe if I intervene with somebody like that, you know, maybe they can get the help that I need,'" said Payton.
The 11-month-old is now in the custody of family members while Payton under goes evaluation.
No criminal charges have lodged against her.