So that the parents wouldn’t notice, she held out a piece of paper to him
Just great what this smart and courageous woman has achieved: It is thanks to Flavaine Carvalho’s attention that the ordeal of an eleven-year-old boy was ended and he was freed from the clutches of his heartless mother and brutal stepfather. Various US media report on this.
“Do you need help?” – the boy nods
Carvalhos is a waitress at a diner in Orlando, Florida. When she serves the last guests of the day in the small restaurant, she has a strange feeling. Something seems to be wrong, the child at the table seems strangely quiet, is not allowed to order anything.
Then she learns that the mother forbids the boy to eat. She can see little of his skin because he is wearing a hoodie and mask. But she notices that he has a bruise on his temple, a scratch can be seen between his eyebrows.
The waitress withdraws, ponders. Then she writes on a piece of paper “Are you okay?” and goes back to the table. Unobtrusively, so that only the little boy can see, she holds the note out to him. He shakes his head, but Flavaine Carvalho is now certain that something is wrong. “I knew he was scared,” she says. She takes another sheet. “Do you need help?” This time the boy nods.
Sometimes the stepfather would hang him upside down on a door frame
Carvalho informs her boss and alerts the police. The officers come and are shocked by what they find. When the police asked the boy to show them his arms, he winced in pain as he tried to pull up the sleeves of his hoodie. It’s covered in bruises.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg – the true extent of the horror will only become apparent as the investigation proceeds. The boy reports that his stepfather, Timothy Wilson, regularly beats him up. He was beaten with objects, but often with bare fists. Sometimes the brutal thug would hang him upside down on a door frame with his knuckles. In another case, he was tied up in a moving van.
Policewoman: What he went through shocks my soul
His mother often punished him with food withdrawal. The general condition of the child is questionable, a doctor determines that he is too thin for his size and age, ten kilos underweight, the doctor estimates.
“What this kid went through was torture,” said Detective Erin Lawler of the Orlando Police Department at a press conference. “There is no justification for it. I am a mother myself. To see what the eleven year old went through shocks my soul.” She is close to tears when she says: “If Ms. Carvalho hadn’t said anything, this little boy probably wouldn’t have been with us much longer.” Orlando Rolon, city police chief, confirms: Flavaine Carvalho may have saved the lives of two children.
The couple also have a four-year-old daughter
Because the couple still has a four-year-old daughter who was not in the restaurant. Both children are now in the care of the youth welfare office. The girl was not physically abused, at least there was no medical evidence, the police said.
The battered boy’s stepfather and Kristen Swann, mother, are on remand. Swann knew what Wilson was doing to her son, police said. She confessed to knowing about the abuse. Nevertheless, she did not do anything about it and despite the injuries did not go to the doctor with her child.
“If I could see the boy again, I would just like to hug him tightly”
The fact that Flavaine Carvalho, herself the mother of a daughter, becomes a heroine is certainly no coincidence, but fortunate circumstances favor it. This is what her boss, restaurant owner Rafaela Cabede, tells. Because actually Carvalho would not have been on duty that evening, is only there because she stands in for a colleague at short notice. And the family sits at the only table at which it was possible to inconspicuously show the child notes. In addition, they were the last guests – it is not certain whether the waitress would have had the necessary attention to notice the child’s injuries in the stress of a packed restaurant.
Cabede praises her employees: “We are very proud,” she says. The case must “encourage people to say something when they see something.” Her heroine says modestly: “If I could see the boy again, I just want to hug him tightly.”
Donation account for the children
Orlando police named a trust account in support of the children. If you want to donate, you can contact the following address:
- COLE, SCOTT & KISSANE, P.A. Trust Account
c/o The Northern Trust Company
600 Brickell Avenue, Suite 2400
Miami, Florida 33131
Attn: Michael Villasana
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