Man accused of hitting boy with pipe for not holding up weighted bar

A Hillsborough County man is accused of hitting an 11-year-old boy when the child lowered a barbell.

It happened late last week at the Phase 5 gym on Moon Street. Investigators say the boy was forced to hold a weighted bar, and if he lowered it, Michael Hernandez, 35, would hit him with a PVC pipe in the legs, back and backside.

The victim suffered several bruises in the area he was reportedly hit. Hernandez was charged with child abuse and arrested at his home without incident.

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