Deputies: Man forced boy to hold weighted bar, beat him with pipe at Tampa gym

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man has been arrested for child abuse, and is accused of hitting a young boy with a PVC pipe at a gym.

Deputies say 35-year-old Michael Hernandez was at the Phase 5 Gym on Moon Street with the 11-year-old victim when the incident happened. The suspect and victim know each other.

Hernandez was punishing the boy by making him hold a weighted bar, according to the arrest report. Detectives say if the boy lowered the bar, Hernandez used the PVC pipe to hit him maliciously in the buttocks, legs and lower back.

The victim suffered bruising in the areas.

Hernandez was arrested at his home and taken to the Hillsborough County Jail.

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