An observant restaurant server in Orlando, Florida, is being praised for helping a boy escape a possibly abusive situation.
“Orlando police say Flavaine Carvalho was working at Mrs. Potato Restaurant on South Kirkman Road on New Year’s Day when she noticed an 11-year-old boy with bruises on his face and arms,” Fox 11 reported Thursday.
The young woman told officers the boy was with Timothy Wilson II and claimed he would not let the child order food.
“Carvalho wrote the boy a note that read, ‘Do you need help? Ok’ and stood behind his parents where they couldn’t see. After several attempts, police say that he signaled yes. Police were immediately called,” the report said.
Officers arrested Wilson on one count of third-degree child abuse.
In a tweet Thursday, the Orlando Police shared a photo of Carvalho’s note to the child and encouraged citizens to follow her lead if they see something suspicious:
SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: An Orlando waitress saw a family withholding food from a boy at a table. She noticed bruises on his body and created this sign to secretly ask the child if he needed help. When he signaled "Yes" she called us. The stepfather & mother were arrested. pic.twitter.com/hJNT1nm0vI
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) January 14, 2021
Police detailed the child’s alleged abuse in a press release, writing, “He said ratchet straps were tied around his ankles and neck, and he was hung upside down from a door.”
“He said he was hit with a wooden broom, and handcuffed and tied to a large moving dolly. He also said he didn’t get to eat on a regular basis as punishment,” the department stated.
Wilson was arrested again on January 6 and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect, the Fox 11 article continued.
“Detectives also interviewed the child’s mother, Kristen Swann, who reportedly admitted to knowing about the abuse and failed to seek medical care for her son. She was arrested and charged with two counts of Child Neglect,” the outlet said.
Following the incident, Facebook users praised Carvalho for taking action to help the boy.
“Awesome job with her being observant and acting on her suspicions!” one person said.
“God Bless her. She could have saved this little boy for years of abuse or even saved his life,” another commented.