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Wednesday, 08 June 2022 – A waitress rescued a child abuse victim by holding up a sign that reads “do you need help?” after she saw him with bruises on his face.
Flaviane Carvalho was serving a family at the restuarant Mrs Potato in Orange County, Orlando, Florida, when she noticed bruises on an 11-year-old boy with the family of four.
She claimed the boy appeared to be “secluded” from the rest of the family. He was also the only one not eating, prompting her to ask the adults why no food had been ordered for the child and they told her the boy would eat at home later.
Flaviane added: “I could see he had a big scratch between his eyebrows.
“Couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong.”
Refusing to ignore the signs of abuse, Flaviane quickly flashed him a handwritten sign reading: “Do you need help?” before the boy gently nodded and she immediately called 911.
This led to the arrest of the boy’s stepfather Timothy Lee Wilson.
Police later learned that the boy’s stepfather had tortured the child, punishing him with military-style exercises, hanging him upside down, isolating and starving him for days.
Officers recovered multiple items used as weapons to punish the minor, including a bent metal pole, a wooden broom, a dolly cart, handcuffs, and ratchet straps.
On Monday, June 6, Wilson was found guilty of two counts of false imprisonment of a child under 13, three counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect.
He will be sentenced on August 19.
The boy’s mother and Wilson’s wife, Kristen Swann, also reportedly admitted knowing about the abuse and failing to secure medical care for him. She was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.
Praising Flaviane’s quick-thinking, Orlando police chief Orlando Rolon had said: “We probably would’ve been talking about a potential homicide investigation if she had not intervened when she did.
“We firmly believe that without her asking him if he needed help and calling 911, he would have gone even longer without eating or drinking and continuing to be tortured at the hands of Mr Wilson.
“Had she not said anything, I believe law enforcement and the child protection team thought he probably could have died.”