Florida man found guilty of child abuse thanks to quick-thinking waitress

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Florida man found guilty of child abuse thanks to quick-thinking waitress

A Florida man who was busted for child abuse — thanks to a quick-thinking waitress and a secret note — has been found guilty.

Flaviane Carvalho was working at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando on New Year’s Day last year when Timothy Lee Wilson, 36, visited the eatery with his family.

While serving the family’s table, Carvalho noticed that no food had been ordered for the young boy.

The observant restaurant worker then noticed that the child had several scratches and bruises on his face and arms, WESH 2 reported.

Concerned, the hero server secretly wrote a handwritten note reading “do you need help?” and flashed it to the then 11-year-old — while standing behind his unwitting parents.

The child nodded yes and Carvalho immediately called 911.

“I’m super concerned and I don’t know what to do, can you give me some advice?” Carvalho asked the dispatcher, according to WFLA.

Flaviane Carvalho flashed a sign to a bruised boy who wasn't ordered any food at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando.
Flaviane Carvalho flashed a sign to a bruised boy who wasn’t ordering any food at Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando.
GoFundMe

“The boy is with bruises and he’s not eating.”

Investigators eventually learned that the child had been subjected to horrific torture and abuse at the hands of Wilson, his stepdad — including being hung upside down from a door on Christmas Day and handcuffed to a dolly.

Officials credited Carvalho for her heroics and said she may have saved the boy’s life.

 Carvalho called 911 after the boy confirmed to her that he needed help.
Carvalho called 911 after the boy confirmed to her that he needed help.
Orlando Police

“We probably would’ve been talking about a potential homicide investigation if she [Carvalho] had not intervened when she did,” Orlando Chief of Police Orlando Rolón said last year.

Carvalho’s quick thinking went viral at the time and an online fundraiser created by her boss raised almost $50,000.

The boy's mother Kristin Swann was charged with child neglect.
The boy’s mother Kristin Swann was charged with child neglect.
Orange County Jail

The waitress posted an update on the fundraising page over the weekend to celebrate the conviction.

“Justice served!” she wrote, adding that the boy is now being cared for in a loving home. “He is happy and healthy.”

Prosecutors announced Monday that a jury had found Wilson guilty of a range of charges, including four counts of aggravated child abuse and one count of child neglect.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

The boy’s mother, Kristin Swann, admitted to knowing about the abuse and failing to act. She has also been arrested and charged with two counts of child neglect, according to WESH.

The victim and his then 4-year-old sister — who was not abused — were removed from their custody.

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