Florida Waitress Passes Note To Abused Child, Saving His Life [Video]
What could have been the next Gabriel Fernandes case was avoided by one very attentive waitress who saw a young boy in distress and took action. Police say the actions of Flavaine Carvalho undoubtedly saved the life of a severely abused and tortured 11-year-old boy. Carvalho was not scheduled to work at Mrs. Potatoe restaurant on January first, but an employee called out which brought the server and manager into work that night.
It's a good thing too because the Orlando Florida restaurant would receive a family of 4 that night who caught Carvalho's eye. The waitress said the first thing she noticed was that even though the boy's food was brought to the table he was not allowed to eat it.
When Carvalho asked about this the stepdad, identified as Timothy Wilson II, who is 34, told her the child would eat dinner at home, she said. But Carvalho said she noticed the boy had bruises and scratches on his face and arms.
That was when she saw the signs of abuse...
"I could see he had a big scratch between his eyebrows," Carvalho said. "A couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong."
Desperate to help the child Carvalho held up a sign that read "Do you need help? OK." He initially answered no, she said. Carvalho said the parents could not see the note.
Carvalho spoke with the store owner very briefly to alert her to what was happening. A call was immediately placed to 911 afterward.
"I'm super concerned and I don't know what to do, can you give me some advice? What I can do?" Carvalho asked dispatchers. "The boy is with bruises and he's not eating," Carvalho told 911 dispatchers. "The others are eating."
The boy was in such bad shape that he could not even roll up his sleeves for police without inflicting more pain on himself. That's when police decided to send him to the hospital for immediate treatment.
During a press briefing, a responding officer said, "It was ongoing abuse and torture that this child was sustaining," Detective Erin Lawler said.
A police spokesperson said the injuries to the child were severe.
"In the opinion of the lead investigator, that child was destined to be killed," he said.
The boy was taken to get medical attention -- that's when horrific injuries and details were discovered.
"What this child had gone through, it was torture," police said during a news conference. "Seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."
Not only was the boy underweight for his age, but police described what he endured as nothing short of torture- giving reporters some details of what the child suffered at the hands of his guardians:
"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."
Wilson was arrested on suspicion of third-degree child abuse. He was arrested a second time on Jan. 6 and charged with several counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect.
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 detective revealed that the children were attending virtual school. Which would explain how the couple was able to get away with torturing this poor boy for so long.
You can view the full 28:24 minute long-press briefing here. Each speaker became very emotional during the interview. Not just because of the heroics of Carvalho but because of the horrific condition and treatment of the young boy. Detectives reiterated that the boy would have died without Carvalho's intervention.
The owner of Mrs. Potaoe said that it was divine intervention as Carvalho was not scheduled to work that day, the restaurant was less busy so the waitress had time to better assess the situation. Adding that the family sat at the only table that she could signal the boy without exposing him to the abusive adults.