A waitress in Florida is being hailed a hero after reporting an 11-year-old boy who was denied food by his parents.
Flaviane Carvalho, who works at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando, was serving the family of four on New Year’s Day when she noticed the young boy hadn’t any food, reported the New York Post.
The boy was described as skinny, and had bruises on his face and arms, according to Orlando police.
The waitress, who is a mother herself, noticed the boy in distress and immediately sprang into action.
Carvalho held up a sign that read, “Are you OK?”
The boy signaled back, “No,” to which Carvalho held up another sign asking if the boy needed help.
The brave boy nodded in the affirmative.
Carvalho called local Orlando authorities and reported the suspected child abuse.
Police arrived on the scene and questioned the young boy, his 4-year-old sister, as well as his parents.
“I’m a mother also and that was very strange to me because you don’t deny food to a kid, especially at a restaurant,” Carvalho said at a press conference Thursday. “Thank God the boy is safe now.”
The boy’s stepfather, Timothy Wilson, has since been arrested and accused of beating the young boy with a broom and his fists, as well as handcuffing him to furniture at home, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
The boy and his sister have been removed by child services. The mother, Kristen Swann, 31, was arrested on January 6 and charged with child neglect.
“That child was destined to be killed,” Orlando Police Department Chief Orlando Rolón told the outlet. “That’s how severe the injuries were. That’s how horrific the recollection of the abuse the child shared with us was.”