ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The Orlando restaurant manager who was credited with saving an 11-year-old boy from a potentially deadly child abuse situation was honored on Tuesday with a distinguished resident award by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Demings presented the award to Flaviane Carvalho during Tuesday’s Orange County Commission meeting.
“The award is presented in recognition of your courageous efforts to identify and report child abuse to local law enforcement authorities,” Demings said.
Carvalho said Tuesday that she hopes her story inspires other people to speak up if they suspect something is wrong.
“It just shows me that we need to pay attention around us,” she said. “… This is why I’m trying to send a message, if you see something say something, don’t be afraid. Do what you need to do to help a kid.”
On New Year’s Eve, she noticed that an 11-year-old boy sitting at one of her tables at the Mrs. Potato restaurant on Kirkman Road wasn’t allowed to order any food.
Then she saw marks on the few inches of skin she could see from underneath the boy’s hoodie, glasses and face mask. There was a glimpse of a bruise on his temple. A big scratch between his eyebrows.
Carvalho concocted a plan. She wrote, “Are you OK?” on a piece of paper and held it up to the boy, from where his parents couldn’t see. The boy nodded yes.
She tried again. “Sure?” she wrote this time. Another nod. But the restaurant manager said she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.
“Do you need help?” she wrote on her final note. Another nod.
She called police.
The boy’s stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, 34, was arrested on multiple counts of third-degree child abuse. His mother, Kristen Swann, was also arrested, facing charges of child neglect.