A waitress told police that she knew something was wrong during one of her shifts.
She had an 11-year-old boy sitting at one of her tables at Mrs. Potato Resturant in Orlando, Florida, who was not allowed to order anything to eat. She then noticed the preteen had bruises on his arms and face.
That’s when waitress Flavaine Carvalho jumped into action, writing “Do you need help?” on a piece of paper and holding up so his parents couldn’t see, WFTV reported.
She told police she tried three times before the boy signaled “yes” to her.
Carvalho called the police who arrested the boy’s stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, on one count of third-degree child abuse, WFTV reported.
Detectives said the boy told them that Wilson hit him with his fists, a broom and a back scratcher.
The boy also told police that he was regularly prevented from eating as a form of punishment, WFTV reported.
Wilson was arrested again after the investigation and now faces multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
The boy’s mother, Kristen Swann, told them she knew about the abuse but did not get medical care for her son, WFTV reported.
She has been charged with two counts of child neglect.
Police credit Carvalho for saving the child from what they called “dangerous abuse.”
“By saying something when she saw something, Ms. Carvalho displayed courage and care for a child she had never even met before, and we’re proud someone like Ms. Carvalho lives and works in our community,” police said in a statement to WFTV.