HOUSTON - There was a big honor Wednesday night for the man who is credited with saving the life of an abandoned newborn at a North Harris County apartment complex.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez presented Albert Peterson with a life-saving award at a ceremony for other members of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

"It feels good man," said Peterson. "There ain't no feeling like it. I wasn't even expecting this."

Peterson said he was headed to work last week when he came across a newborn baby girl crying alone on the ground at his apartment complex.

He said he was up early that day--which he said rarely happens. He initially thought he heard a cat crying but walked further and discovered the unthinkable.

"She had her little fists balled up trying to get the ants off of her," Peterson said. "I ran into the house with her, got all the ants and stuff off of her and all the mucus--got all that stuff off her back."

Sheriff Gonzalez said Peterson's actions were crucial, adding that doctors told him if the little baby hadn't been found when she was, she likely would've never made it.

"In this case by saying something, they saved a life," Gonzalez said.

The baby girl remains in the hospital where doctors are treating her for a bacterial infection and a rapid heartbeat.

Prosecutors have charged the baby's mother with felony child abandonment.