An unlikely hero has saved two Florida kids.
She’s not a cop.
She’s not a prosecutor.
She’s not a psychologist.
She’s not a judge.
She’s not a children’s advocate or school teacher or nurse or doctor or day care provider.
In fact, she likely doesn’t have a college degree (or maybe not even a high school diploma).
Dr. Martin Luther King once said “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
In our view, this woman, Flaviane Carvalho, is indeed great.
While waitressing at a family-owned restaurant in Orlando, she “noticed that a young boy at her restaurant was oddly quiet, had no food and appeared to have multiple injuries on his face — while the rest of his family were talking and enjoying their meal.”
Carvalho then wrote a note that said ‘Do you need help?’ and “secretly held it up while standing in a spot where only the child could see her. The 11-year-old initially hesitated but eventually signaled yes, prompting her to call the police.”
The waitress, who’s been called “brave” and “quick-thinking,” is now being credited with “saving the life of a boy who police said was being tortured, beaten, handcuffed and even hung upside down from a door as a sickening form of punishment.”
Both the child and his four year old sister were taken from the parents.
Police Chief Orlando Rolón told reporters “We probably would be talking about a homicide investigation if the waitress had not intervened.”
The victim’s mother and stepfather are now facing multiple charges.
Orlando Police Detective Erin Lawler, who is leading the investigation, said of the parents’ behavior, “It was torture. There was no justification for it.”
The lesson here is clear: third parties – like witnesses and whistleblowers – can stop crimes, especially if they are courageous and act quickly.
(Remember just last week, we cited another case in which wrongdoing was exposed (and hopefully, down the road, prevented) by a whistleblower in New York. That person shone a light on a clearly too-cozy relationship between Cardinal Timothy Dolan and the purportedly ‘neutral’ mediators he’s hired to divide up money among abuse survivors. /legal-news/page/3/)
“When you see something that is not right, act on it,” Detective Lawler said. “Call us, let us know what is going on so we can follow through. We are 100% convinced that (Carvalho) saved the life of the child and potentially future abuse of his sister.”
At Thursday’s news conference, which was live-streamed by local news station WFTV, Carvalho repeatedly praised the boy for having the “courage” to ask for help and said she was happy she did something in situation where many people probably wouldn’t.
“I feel glad that I did it,” she said. “But at the same time, I feel that I just did what human beings are supposed to do to each other.”