The 12-year-old boy who police say was tied to a laundry pole outside his Miami Beach home by his father will stay with his adult sister, a juvenile court judge ruled Tuesday.
The boy's father, 49-year-old Adolfo Guzman, was arrested Sunday on an aggravated child abuse charge, Miami Beach Police said. He was later released on bond and ordered not to have any contact with his son.
During Tuesday's dependency hearing, Judge Maria Sampedro-Iglesia ordered that the boy and his minor sister will stay with their 21-year-old sister in the family's home.
Sampedro-Iglesia talked with the boy and his teenage sister, who both said their dad is a good father. Despite that, she found the father's punishment of his son far out of line, and ruled that he won't be allowed contact with his son but will be allowed to have supervised visits with his younger daughter while in the company of his adult daughter.
During Tuesday's 30-minute hearing, it was learned that Guzman had tied up his son and told his minor daughter to release him after 10 minutes, but the girl fell asleep.
“The dad instructed her to release him within 10 minutes and she forgot that she had the key," the judge said.
Sampedro-Iglesia told Guzman "that even a minute would not have been appropriate."
"I mean children shouldn’t be treated as, I don't even know, I was going to say animals, but it's not even animals," she said.
According to a Miami Beach Police report, Guzman had been concerned when his son disappeared for a few hours on Saturday and "warned him he would tie him up if he continued to wander off."
Police said that after the son disappeared again without permission and returned home, Guzman used a bicycle cable wire lock and tied his ankle to a concrete pole outside the family's home.
Guzman left to go shopping and didn't come back for a couple hours, the report said. In the meantime, a group of Jehovah's Witnesses found the boy and flagged down officers and told them about the tied-up child, police said.
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When Guzman arrived home, he admitted to tying his son up and was arrested, the report said.
The boy told NBC 6 that he didn't listen to his father, and didn't tell him he was at a friend's house Sunday.
"I was feeling bad because it all was my fault. He's innocent, so it's all my fault," the son said.
Department of Children and Families case worker Franklin Gomez also talked with the children spoke at Tuesday's hearing.
“They feel that this was a one-time incident. The two females think of the younger brother that he is quote-unquote hardheaded," he reported.
Guzman will be staying with his brother. The mother of the children lives in the Dominican Republic.
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