A dependency court judge ruled a 12-year-old boy can stay with his older sister after their father was charged with tying the boy to a pole with a bicycle cable wire.
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mari Sampedro-Iglesia ruled that Adolfo Guzman's 21-year-old daughter would have temporary custody of her two siblings.
Guzman can have no contact with his son until his criminal case is resolved. He can see his 15-year-old daughter.
"Even a minute would not have been appropriate," Sampedro-Iglesia told Guzman. "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."
Police arrested Guzman on Sunday and charged him with aggravated child abuse. Guzman's 12-year-old son left their apartment without permission two days in a row, according to an arrest report. When he returned the second time, Guzman used the cable wire to tie him to the pole outside their apartment.
Passer-bys flagged police officers down, who had the Miami Beach Fire Department cut the boy loose.
"It's all my fault. It's not his fault," the 12-year-old boy told Local 10's Glenna Milberg. "It's all my fault because I'm the one who got out of the house without permission. I came late."
The boy is the youngest of Guzman's children. A single father, Guzman raises his three children on a $1,000-a-month disability check.
"He never hit me in my life. Not even my sisters," said the boy.
His 15-year-old daughter said she was supposed to unlock her brother after 10 minutes but forgot.
"I don't say nothing because he deserved that because he make my dad do that," said the boy's sister.
The Department of Children and Families recommended Guzman not be able to stay in the same home as his son and 15-year-old daughter.
"The father, based on the allegations, we feel that the children are at prospective risk of further abuse and neglect," said Barbara Galvez with DCF.
But Guzman found an ally in Franklin Gomez, the child protective investigator.
"Despite these allegations, they (the children) feel that they are not afraid of the father. They're not concerned. They feel this was a one-time thing to them," said Gomez.
Guzman is scheduled to return to court in June.