A Florida waitress, Flavaine Carvalho, took action to rescue an abused boy whose family was dining out at the Mrs. Potato Restaurant where she worked .
Carvalho noticed that the family had ordered nothing for the boy. When she asked whether there was any problem with the food, the waitress was told the boy would be eating at home. This explanation did not seem satisfactory, in light of injuries on the boy’s face and arms.
Taking the initiative, Carvalho fashioned a sign reading, “Do you need help?” Then positioned where the parents could not see, she surreptitiously held it up for the boy. When he nodded, Carvalho called police.
On questioning, the boy described having been abused by his stepfather. The 11 y.o. asserted he had been tied up, handcuffed, struck with a broom, and hung from a door. Bruised and markedly underweight, the boy had been denied food as a punishment.
The boy’s stepfather was charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect. The boy’s mother — who had not sought medical attention for him — was charged with neglect.
Both the boy and a 4 y.o. sibling were removed to the custody of Florida Dept. of Children and Families.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart” (Col. 3: 21 NASB).
The Bible encourages reasonable discipline, appropriate to a child’s age and level of understanding. It does not condone starvation or torture.
 People Magazine, ” ‘Do You Need Help?’ Florida Waitress Used Secret Sign to Rescue Boy after Noticing Abuse: Police” by Steve Helling, 1/15/21, https://people.com/crime/florida-waitress-used-secret-sign-rescue-abused-boy/.
The National Child Abuse Hotline is 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453).
The hotline is available 24/7 in over 170 languages.
Calls are confidential and toll free.
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