A waitress in the American city of Orlando saved a little boy by putting a secret message on a small note. “Do you need help? OK,” she wrote. “Yes”, the boy nodded, after which the police were signaling. The help came anything but early. The child was tortured by his own mother and stepfather.
The eleven-year-old boy came to dinner with his family at Mrs. Potato Restaurant on New Years Day, where Flavaine Carvalho worked that day. The waitress was short of hands, but was observant enough to feel that there was something wrong a few tables away.
When she wanted to take the order of the family, she noticed that the boy was not allowed to order anything. Hed have something to eat at home, his stepfather told her. Although the boy was wearing a mouthcap and wearing large glasses, she noticed that the injuries were on his arms and face.
“ I saw a scratch between his eyebrows,” she said on the local channel WOFL-TV. “A little later I saw a bruise next to his eye.”
“ No,” he said at first
Because she felt he was in danger, she quickly wrote a note. “Do you need help? Okay” She put the message in the air in the direction of the child. She secretly did it behind his parents back. The boy shook his head first, but when she did another sign, he nodded discreetly.
Flavaine asked her boss if she could call the police, and he agreed. “He seems to be 8 years old,” she told a 911 agent. “I think hes here with his parents. Im really worried about you. I dont know what to do.”
Upside down at the door
The waitress had assessed the situation well, as it turned out after investigation by the police. At home, the 11-year-old kid was forced to wear belts around ankles and neck. And with that, he was hung upside down from a door. He also told me to get beaten with a wooden broom. Sometimes he was tied behind a cart, with which his parents drove.
According to the doctors who examined him, he was malnourished and weighed ten kilos too little.
“ The boy has been abused,” confirms researcher Erin Lawler. “Although the word torture is more appropriate. It wasnt a one-time thing, but its about different facts. He had bruises all over his body.”
, Timothy Wilson II (34), was arrested for child abuse. Because there was insufficient evidence in the restaurant itself, he was only arrested a few days later. The mother of the boy, Kristen Swann (31), was also arrested for abuse and neglect. His four-year-old sister, who was also in the restaurant, showed no signs of abuse. Both children were placed out of home. Theyre fine now, according to the police.
Orlando police praised Flavaines reaction. “She has had the courage to stand up for a child she has never met before. We are proud that such a person lives and works in our community.” Also the restaurant owner had nothing but praise words. “You saved that boys life. That someone could do something like that to a child makes me cry.”