An Orlando waitress is being hailed a hero after she noticed a young boy was bruised and wasn’t allowed to eat, leading to two individuals being charged with child abuse and neglect.
Flavaine Carvalho was working at Mrs. Potato Restaurant on New Years Day when she noticed a family seated at one of the tables was acting strange.
When the food arrived at the table, Carvalho noticed that the 11-year-old boy did not receive any food while both adults and a 4-year-old child did.
“When the order came to the table, I observed that the boy was denied food. That was the first thing that got my attention,” Carvalho said during a press conference. “I stepped in and asked if there was something wrong with the order because the food for the boy was missing, and the dad told me ‘no, everything was okay’ and the boy was ‘okay’.”
The stepfather allegedly told Carvalho the boy would eat when he got home.
“This was super strange to me,” she continued, noting that she became suspicious after noticing a “really big scratch between his eyebrows.”
“He was super quiet and sad.”
Carvalho signaled to the boy to ask if he was okay, to which he nodded that he was, Carvalho said. Still not satisfied, Carvalho said she wrote a sign reading “Do you need help?”
At that point, the boy nodded his head ‘yes’.
Carvalho called the police and told them the boy had “lots of bruises on his arm” and looked like he had been physically assaulted, according to audio of the 9-1-1 call obtained by the Daily Caller.
Upon arrival police arrested the boy’s stepfather.
The boy was treated at a local hospital where doctors found bruises all over his body, police said. He was 20 pounds underweight. (RELATED: Report: Children Disfigured After Couple Allegedly Beat, Burned Them)
Timothy Wilson, 32, was arrested on one count of third-degree child abuse, according to police.
The boy revealed to the police over the following days that he was subjected to frequent abuse. The boy told police that ratchet straps were tied around his ankles and neck and he was hung upside down from a door. He was also allegedly hit with a wooden broom and handcuffed and tied to a moving dolly.
The boy also said he frequently had food withheld from him as punishment.
“To be honest, what this child had gone through was torture,” Detective Erin Lawler, who became emotional, said during a press conference. “I’m a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul.”
Orland police Chief Orlando Rolon said Carvalho’s quick thinking likely saved the boy’s life.
“We probably would’ve been talking about a potential homicide investigation if she had not intervened when she did.”
Wilson was arrested a second time on Jan. 6 and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect, police said.
The boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, was arrested on Jan. 6 and charged with two counts of child neglect after she admitted to knowing about the abuse, according to police.
Both the 11-year-old and 4-year-old, who was not subject to abuse, were removed from the parents custody, police said.