waitress taking an order on a pad of paper

Stepfather found guilty of child abuse after a Florida restaurant employee saved a boy with a note asking if he needed help

Heroes truly come in all shapes and sizes. You do not need to have superpowers to save someone’s life. Sometimes, all you need is awareness and a keen sense of what is going on between the lines. One little boy’s life was saved by an employee at a restaurant who noticed the signs that he was being abused. She reached out to him by passing him a note that asked if he needed help. The boy was brave enough to answer back with a “yes.”

Mrs Potato employee saves little boy by writing him a note
image source: R A / Facebook

Child taken away from abusive step-father

The Orange County State Attorney’s Office announced on Monday, June 6th, 2022 that an 11-year-old boy was taken from his home after he was found to be abused by his stepfather, Timothy Lee Wilson. The 36-year-old is now in jail, thanks to a waitress from a Mrs. potato restaurant could not help but notice signs he was being abused. The report read:

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“Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Monique H. Worrell announces a six–person jury in Orange County found Timothy Lee Wilson, 36, guilty of 2 counts of false imprisonment on a child under the age of 13, 3 counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, 4 counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect.”

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She wrote him a note

The little boy was apparently being left out of the fun and the food, while the family enjoyed their meal. Coincidentally, the waitress was not scheduled to work that day and was filling in for someone. She noticed that he was not being included. Additionally, he had bruises on his face. So, she reported that she asked the family if their meal was okay, and their response was that the little boy would eat at home. In an interview with CNN, Carvalho said: “You don’t deny food for a kid, especially in a restaurant.”

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“I just thought I need to do something,” Carvalho said, after she noticed the bruising on his face. “I could not see him go away without any help.”

Carvalho wrote a note and held it up so the rest of the family wouldn’t see it. The note read: “Do you need help?”

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The little boy read the note. As a response, he made a hand signal showing he was not sure what he should do. “[he] made a movement with his hands showing he didn’t know what to do,” said Carvalho.

No photo description available.
Image Credit: Orlando Police Dept | Facebook

She called 911

In short, Carvalho decided she had to intervene. Firstly, she gave her boss a call, who agreed. Secondly, they called 911, and told the dispatch officer of her concern. Luckily, the recording of the phone call was shared:

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“One of the kids is with a lot of bruises on his arms and on his face and the parent is not giving food for him, but is giving to the other kids that are with them. I’m super concerned and I don’t know what to do. So, Can you give me some advice?”

The Jury found him guilty

Thankfully, the boy was taken away from his apparent abusers. Subsequently, an investigation was carried out. It turns out that the little boy was the woman’s son. To clarify, her name is Kristin Swann. The second child that was with them was the child of both Timothy Wilson and Kristen Swann. Afterward, the boy reported that amongst other abusive acts, his step-father often punished him by refusing to feed him. Not only that, but he was hung up-side-down in a doorway and hit with a wooden broomstick.

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The charges stemmed from a critical call to 911 made by an Orlando waitress, Ms. Flaviane Carvalho,at the Mrs.Potato restaurant on New Year’s Day 2021. Ms.Carvalho noticed that a family of 4 entered the restaurant around 11:00PM,and the 11-year-old victim was secluded from the rest of the family. Furthermore, he was being deprived of food and beverages. When Ms.Carvalho noticed injuries on the victim, she signaled to identify whether he was in need of help by holding up a sign out of the sight of Mr. Wilson,and he acknowledged that he did.”

Wilson has been found guilty and will be sentenced later this year. Furthermore, the report read: “Through the tireless efforts of Assistant State Attorneys Lauryn Day and Olivia Walker, the jury ultimately returned a verdict of guilty on all counts as charged after two hours of deliberation.Mr. Wilson will be sentenced on Friday, August 19, 2022,at 10:30 am.

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Sources

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  1. Police say Orlando waitress saved boy from abuse with note asking if he needed help.CNN. Hollie Silverman. January 16, 2021
  2. Stepfather found guilty of child abuse after a Florida restaurant employee saved a boy with a note asking if he needed help.” CNN. Jamiel Lynch and Elizabeth Wolfe. June 9, 2022.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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