A Florida restaurant manager's situational awareness and quick thinking saved two young children from ongoing abuse. As police investigate, details paint a sinister and tragic picture.
On New Year's Day, Kristen Swann, her 11-year-old son, his younger sister, and their stepfather, Timothy Wilson II, went to a restaurant for supper. It would be their last time sitting around the same table.
Their server, Flavaine Carvalho, is also the manager at Orlando's Mrs. Potato Restaurant, and she noticed something off about the family as soon as their food arrived.
Flavaine Carvalho detail the events that led to the rescue of an 11-year-old boy and his younger sister. | Source: Facebook/Orlando Police Department.
The boy looked sad, and his parents denied him food while everyone else at the table ate. At first, Carvalho thought something went wrong with their order, but Wilson assured her everything was fine.
Red flags came up for Carvalho, who also noticed that the boy had a laceration between his eyebrows. She took action by holding up handwritten signs only the boy could see, asking whether he needed help.
Following the details given by the boy, Wilson and Swann got arrested on new charges on January 6.
When the boy signaled "Yes," Carvalho immediately dialed 911, and authorities arrived shortly after, who then initially arrested Wilson on a charge of third-degree child abuse.
Little did Carvalho know the dire nature of the two children's situation. When detectives sat down with the boy, he recounted horrific acts of abuse, which included regular denying of food as punishment.
Following the details given by the boy, Wilson and Swann got arrested on new charges on January 6. Swann got charged with two counts of child neglect, while Wilson faces a host of charges.
The police hope that her deeds will inspire others to act in the future.
According to reports, the 34-year-old officially got charged with one count of child neglect (for the restaurant incident), one count of child abuse, and three counts of aggravated child abuse.
The 11-year-old boy and his 4-year-old sister are both in the Florida Department of Children and Families' custody after being removed from the home.
In addition to child protective services, the police's special victims unit is running a full investigation. Grateful for Carvalho's actions, the police hope that her deeds will inspire others to act in the future.
A similar tragic story recently had a happy ending. A 4-year-old girl found herself in similar shoes two years ago, and police lieutenant Brian Zach in Arizona rescued the girl, but their story didn't stop there.
In December 2020, news broke that Zach and his wife, Cierra, adopted the little girl, Kaila, since Zach really bonded with her following the rescue.
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