Stepfather Convicted Of Child Abuse After Florida Waitress Saved A Boy With A Secret Note Asking If He Needed ‘Help’

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A 36-year-old man has been convicted of child abuse, all thanks to the quick thinking of a restaurant employee.

According to a statement from the Orange County State Attorney’s Office obtained by People, Timothy Lee Wilson was found guilty on Monday of two counts of false imprisonment of a child under the age of 13, three counts of aggravated child abuse with a weapon, four counts of aggravated child abuse, and one count of child neglect.

The stepfather was arrested on January 1, 2021, at the Mrs. Potato Restaurant in Orlando after one of the waitresses suspected child abuse and called 911. While working at the eatery on New Year’s Day, Flaviane Carvalho noticed the little boy was seated “secluded” from the rest of the family and was the only one without a meal or beverage. She also spotted that he was bruised on the side of his eye and arms, scraped between his eyebrows, and malnourished at the time.

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Concerned, the server secretly penned a note and held it up while standing behind his parents asking if he was okay. He nodded “yes” at first. However, Flaviane was not convinced. A couple of minutes later, she wrote a second message that read “Do you need help?” When the child nodded his head yes, she immediately called the authorities. The statement said:

“When Ms. Carvalho noticed injuries on the victim, she signaled to identify whether he was in need of help by holding up a sign out of the sight of Mr. Wilson, and he acknowledged that he did.”

Police then took Wilson into custody. They soon launched an investigation into the matter, quickly discovering how the kid had been subjected to horrific abuse and torture at the hands of his stepdad. According to law enforcement, he “had been tortured, maliciously punished, and deprived of food and water for days at a time.”

A search warrant also revealed that “the victim was kept in a separate hotel room used for storage, away from Mr. Wilson, the victim’s mother, and the younger sibling.” Duct tape was also used to cover the peephole into the boy’s room. The Orange County State Attorney’s Office added:

“He routinely was deprived of food and beverages, was made to do military-style exercises, hung upside down from a door by his neck and feet, and at one point, handcuffed to a dolly cart on Christmas Day. Officers recovered multiple items used as weapons — a bent metal pole, a wooden broom, a dolly cart, handcuffs, and ratchet straps used to tie the victim up.”

Absolutely disturbing.

Wilson will now be sentenced in late August. Meanwhile, the boy’s mom, Kristen Swann, who was arrested days after the restaurant incident, is facing felony abuse charges, including neglect of a child, aggravated abuse, and failure to report child abuse. The 32-year-old allegedly confessed to investigators that she knew of the abuse and did nothing to stop it. Additionally, she never sought out medical attention for her injured son. However, she pleaded not guilty and is set to go to court in July.

Following the trial, Flaviane reacted to the guilty verdict in a GoFundMe that was set up last year to reward her heroic actions. She wrote:

“Justice served!! Yesterday was the day of the aggressor’s trial . He was charged with 10 crimes , now he will spend the rest of his life in prison because he was sentenced with 2 life sentences. Thanks God the boy child is very well and being raised with a lot of love. He os happy and healthy.”

Glad to hear!

No doubt Flaviane’s keen eye and quick thinking saved his life.

[Image via GoFundMe, Orange County Jail]

The post Stepfather Convicted Of Child Abuse After Florida Waitress Saved A Boy With A Secret Note Asking If He Needed ‘Help’ appeared first on Perez Hilton.