A waitress saved an 11-year-old boy from his allegedly abusive parents by passing him a note asking if he needed help.
Flavaine Carvalho, from Orlando, US, was working at Mrs Potato Restaurant on 1 January when she saw the boy and gave him the note, which read: "Do you need help?"
The young boy's mum Kristen Swann, 31, and stepfather Timothy Wilson II, 34, were arrested following the incident.
Wilson II was arrested on one count of third-degree child abuse, and five days later was arrested again and charged with multiple counts of aggravated child abuse and neglect.
Swann was charged with two counts of child neglect.
Speaking about the moment she decided to intervene, Ms Carvalho said she noticed something was wrong when both the parents received food but that nothing had been ordered for the child.
Ms Carvalho said Wilson told her the boy, who had bruises to his arms and face, would eat at home.
She said: "I could see he had a big scratch between his eyebrows.
"A couple of minutes later, I saw a bruise on the side of his eye. So I felt there was something really wrong."
She then approached the child and secretly gave him the note, standing behind him so that his parents couldn't read it.
The boy signaled that he did want help.
In an audio clip of the call released by police, Carvalho can be heard saying: "I'm super concerned and I don't know what to do, can you give me some advice? What I can do?
"The boy is with bruises and he's not eating. The others are eating."
When the boy was taken to hospital, doctors found that he was 20lbs underweight.
The boy told police he had been subjected to incredible levels of abuse, saying Wilson beat him with a wooden broom, hung him upside down on one occasion, and forced him to do 30-minute planks.
He was also not allowed to eat on a regular basis and would be tied around his neck and ankles with ratchet straps.
The boy told police that he would was also handcuffed and tied to a large, moving dolly.
At a press conference, a police spokesperson said it was utterly abhorrent.
They said: "What this child had gone through, it was torture. Seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."
The boy and his four-year-old sibling have been taken into custody by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Featured Image Credit: Fox35
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