A Handwritten Note By Florida Waitress Saves A Boy From An Abusive House

Handwritten Note By Florida Waitress Saves A Boy From An Abusive House

Florida police are hailing an Orlando restaurant manager and waitress who used covert signals to help an allegedly abused child. On New Year’s Day, Flavaine Carvalho was working her shift at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something unusual at one of her tables.

She saw that a family was eating and enjoying their food except for an 11-year-old boy who didn’t get any food at all.


Thinking that it was a bit weird, the waitress asked the family if the food tasted OK, motioning to the boy’s empty plate. The stepfather said his son was going to eat dinner at home, instead of eating with the family there at the restaurant.

Florida Waitress Saves A Boy From An Abusive House

Orlando Police

And then suddenly, Flavaine saw the bruises and scratches all over the boy’s face and arms. Her intuition struck and she knew that something was wrong.

Using her instincts and quick thinking, she held up a handwritten note while standing behind his parents so they couldn’t see what she was doing.

“Do you need help?” the note asked.

Orlando Police

“Yes,” the boy quietly nodded.

It was all the waitress needed to call her boss for advice and then called the police.

This could have been a homicide situation if she had not have intervened,” Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.

police talking about the rescue


It wasn’t until doctors met with the boy that the terrifying truth came to light. The boy’s stepfather was arrested that day and charged with one count of third-degree child abuse.

In an interview with detectives, the boy told them that his stepfather would hit him with his fists, a wooden broom, and a back scratcher. The boy also told them that he was hung upside down from a door frame by his ankles and, in another instance, strapped to a furniture dolly.

Florida Waitress Saves A Boy From An Abusive House

Officers said the boy winced in pain when they asked him to roll up the sleeves of his sweatshirt. There were bruises covering nearly his entire body.

Police said the boy also said he regularly wasn’t allowed to eat as punishment. He was 20 pounds underweight.

To be honest what this child had gone through was torture,” Detective Erin Lawler said.

sad child

There was no justification for it in any realm of the world. I’m a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul.”

The stepfather was arrested again and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse.

Florida Waitress Saves A Boy From An Abusive House

Orange County Corrections Dept

Police said when they interviewed the child’s mother, Kristen Swann, she admitted to knowing about the abuse and failing to seek medical care for the boy. She was arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect.

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,” the Orlando Police Department said in a statement.

The Orlando Police Department shared a video in which Carvalho recounted her experience.

Orlando police said that a trust account has been created in support of the children involved in the case. Those who wish to donate can send donations to the address below:

COLE, SCOTT & KISSANE, P.A. Trust Account c/o The Northern Trust Company
600 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2400
Miami, Florida 33131
Attn: Michael Villasana For the benefit of the minor children of Wilson/Swann

A GoFundMe account has also been set up to benefit Carvalho. You can click here to donate.

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