‘Do you need help?’ Orlando waitress uses handwritten note to help rescue abused boy, police say

Detectives said the boy’s stepfather hit him with his fists, a wooden broom and a back scratcher. Police said the boy also said he regularly wasn’t allowed to eat as punishment.

Orlando, Fla. — An Orlando waitress told police she knew something was wrong when an 11-year-old boy sitting at one of her tables was forbidden from ordering anything to eat.

Then she noticed the bruises on his arms and face.

The waitress, Flavaine Carvalho, concocted a plan. She wrote “Do you need help?” on a piece of paper and held it up to the boy from where his parents couldn’t see from their booth at Mrs Potato Restaurant.

She told police it took three tries before the boy signaled “yes.”

Carvalho called police. Now she’s being credited as helping to save the boy from what police called a “dangerous abuse” situation.

The boy’s stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, 34, was arrested on one count of third-degree child abuse.

You can watch the full news conference where investigators discuss the case below:

In interviews with detectives they said the boy told them his stepfather hit him with his fists, a wooden broom and a back scratcher.

Police said the boy also said he regularly wasn’t allowed to eat as punishment.

After police learned the additional details of the abuse, they said they arrested Wilson again on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

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,” police said in a news release.

A trust account has been created in support of the boy and his 4-year-old step sister involved in this abuse case.

To donate, do so at:

Cole, Scott and 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



Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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