Hialeah gym owner charged with molestation, battery



Hialeah police arrested and charged a man with multiple counts of lewd and lascivious battery and molestation after an incident involving a teenager he was looking after.

The man, Howard Puig, 50, of Hialeah, was arrested and charged Thursday with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery and lewd and lascivious molestation. He has since been released on bond.

According to the police report, the 15-year-old victim indicated that the incident took place during the last week of June. The victim alleged that Puig told him to inhale an unknown substance contained in a brown nail polish bottle. Puig then began to perform oral sex on the victim, who told police that the substance kept him from controlling his body movements.

Puig had been temporarily looking after the victim since March. Police said the victim is back in the care of his family. Lt. Carl Zogby said that Puig had been known to look after runaways like the victim and said the teenager was a “quasi-student” at the gym.

“He was running a sort-of wayward home for boys,” said Zogby.

Police detectives searched Puig’s business, the “El Padrino” mixed martial arts gym at 4735 E. 10 Ct., and after searching his bedroom they found the bottle the victim described, according to the report.

Puig was taken to the police station and arrested.

Police said that Puig’s gym, which he had been operating for about two years in the building, is shut down and will not re-open. The Hialeah Building Department found numerous violations at the building apparently including dangerous structural and electrical violations and “a lot of unlicensed construction,” Zogby said.

Police suspect there may be other victims. Any one with information is asked to call 305-687-2525.

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category