ORLANDO, Fla. (WHDH) — A restaurant manager in Orlando, Florida is being credited with saving an 11-year-old boy from his abusive stepfather and neglectful mother earlier this month, police said.
Flavaine Carvalho, manager at Mrs. Potato, says she noticed a family who came in to dine on Jan. 1 was not ordering food for a boy seated at the table.
“I step in and ask, ‘Was something wrong with the order?’ because the food for the boy was missing and the dad, the man, told me no, everything was OK and the boy was OK; he was going to have his dinner at the night at home,” she recalled. “This was super strange to me.”
Carvalho says she then noticed that the boy had a big scratch between his eyebrows, along with bruises on his body.
She added that he appeared to be “super quiet and sad.”
Carvalho made a sign asking if the boy was OK and held it up for him to see.
“He nodded yes but he didn’t convince me,” she said. “A couple minutes later, I wrote another sign asking him if he needs help, and I showed him and he nodded his head yes.”
Carvalho then went to the back of the restaurant and called 911.
Responding officers spoke with the boy and the two adults that he was with, who police identified as his stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, and his mother, Kristen Swann.
The boy initially said that he received multiple bruises when he fell off his bed while he was sleeping and hit the table next to him, according to an arrest affidavit. He also reportedly claimed that additional bruises came from wrestling with Wilson, who police say weighs about 325 pounds, while the boy weighs about 60 pounds.
After further questioning, the boy stated that Wilson had recently been beating him with a wooden broom, back scratcher and his closed fists when he does something wrong, adding that Wilson also makes him do exercises such as planks for punishments, the affidavit continued.
Wilson allegedly told officers that he did not know where the bruising came from on his stepson’s right arm, but that the bruising on his face happened when he got up to yell at him and scared him, causing him to jump back off the bed and hit a nightstand with the side of his face.
He added that he does make the boy do exercises as punishment but refrains from physical punishment, the affidavit read.
Wilson was placed under arrest on a third-degree child abuse charge.
The boy was taken to an area hospital, where authorities and the Department of Children and Families learned of additional abuse allegations, police said.
The boy told detectives that ratchet straps were tied around his ankles and neck, and he was hung upside down from a door.
He added that he was handcuffed and tied to a large moving dolly, and did not get to eat on a regular basis as punishment.
Wilson was arrested a second time on Jan. 6 and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
Detectives interviewed Swann, who admitted to knowing about the abuse and failing to seek medical care for the boy, police said.
She was also arrested on Jan. 6 and charged with two counts of child neglect.
“The Orlando Police Department regularly encourages people who see something, to say something. And when one woman took that advice to heart, she rescued a boy from some dangerous abuse,” police said in a press release. “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.”
(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)