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Orlando waitress credited with saving boy from allegedly abusive parents

See something, say something

Orlando waitress helps 11-year-old boy, saves him from allegedly abusive parents.
Orlando waitress helps 11-year-old boy, saves him from allegedly abusive parents.

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Orlando woman’s quick-thinking is being praised for helping an 11-year-old stranger she had never met.

Orlando police said Flavaine Carvalho was working as a server New Year’s Day at Mrs. Potato restaurant when she saw a family withholding food from an 11-year-old boy at a table. She noticed bruises on his body and created this sign to secretly ask the child if he needed help.

She created a sign that read, “Do you need help?” He signaled “Yes.”

That’s when she called the Orlando Police Department. The stepfather and mother were arrested.

In an interview with Orlando police detectives, the boy recounted incidents of mistreatment, saying he had ratchet straps tied around his ankles and neck and was hung upside down from a door, officials said. According to police, the boy also said he had been struck with a wooden broom and handcuffed and tied to a large moving dolly. (WKMG)

The boy also said he didn’t get to eat on a regular basis as a form of punishment, according to police.

The man was arrested on one count of third-degree child abuse. Days later, the man was arrested again on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.

Police said the boy’s mother admitted to knowing about the abuse. She was arrested Jan. 6 on two counts of child neglect. (WKMG)

The Orlando Police Department said it regularly encourages people who see something to say something.

“When one woman took that advice to heart, she rescued a boy from some dangerous abuse,” OPD said in a news 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.”

SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING: An Orlando waitress saw a family withholding food from an 11-year-old boy at a table. She...

Posted by Orlando Police Department on Thursday, January 14, 2021

About the Authors:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.