Waitress rescues child asking for help with a sign before parents arrested
A waitress in the US has rescued a child after she flashed him a homemade sign that read "do you need help?”
Flaviane Carvalho said that she was serving a family in her restaurant, Mrs. Potato in Orange County when she spotted something that seemed to be off.
Saying that the child seemed "secluded" from his family, she noticed he was the only one without any food in front of him.
Questioning this, his parents said he was going to eat later at home but Falvaine said she noticed that the 11 year old had a large scratch between his eyebrows and bruises on his arms.
“I could see he had a big scratch between his eyebrows,” Flaviane explained.
"Couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong."
Refusing to do nothing, she flashed the boy a handwritten sign which read: "Do you need help?" before the boy nodded and she quickly called 911.
Flaviane told NBC News: "I was used like a tool from God to help him.
"We need to pay attention to the ones that are in need, and step forward to do something to change the situation."
Police later discovered that the boy’s stepfather, Timothy Lee Wilson, had been torturing the child and punishing him with military-style exercises like hanging him upside down, isolating and starving him for days.
It was found that he used multiple items used as weapons to punish the minor including a bent metal pole, a wooden broom, a dolly cart, handcuffs, and ratchet straps.
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 and is set to be sentenced on August 19.
The child's mum Kristen Swann has reportedly admitted to police that she knew about the abuse and did nothing, and has been arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.
Orlando police chief Orlando Rolon had said last year: "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.”