MIAMI — A former professional boxer has been arrested after Miami police said he bought an AK-47 rifle and was preparing to shoot down a gym.
Azea Augustama, 39, of North Miami, was jailed early Wednesday and charged with two counts of writing threats involving a mass shooting and a death threat.
Known in boxing as the “Haitian Hitman,” Augustama represented Haiti in the light heavyweight division at the 2008 Olympics in China. He also had 18 victories as a professional boxer and often appeared on cards at Casino Miami Jai-Alai and elsewhere in the mid-2010s.
A judge Wednesday afternoon ordered Augustama to withhold $3 million bail and house arrest if he wires the money. An assistant public defender said Augustama had no money, calling the $3 million figure “tantamount to no bail.”
“I believe he poses a great danger to the community,” District Judge Mindy Glazer replied.
According to a police arrest report, Augustama was a personal trainer and a member of BOXR Gym, 1310 NE First Ave.
But he was stripped of his membership and issued a trespassing warning on Nov. 11 after getting into an argument with someone at the facility, police said. The store’s owner, Mateo Attalla, told the Miami Herald that Augustama had only been a member for about four months and got into a fight because a boxing trainer needed the space to start a class.
“He was a bit upset that he couldn’t finish his practice,” Attalla said. “He said to the coach, let’s jump in the ring and fight it out.”
The coach didn’t bite and notified Attalla, who revoked his membership and gave Augustama the money he had already paid. Augustama seemed to walk without any problems.
But on Tuesday, according to the report, Augustama called the police and said he wanted to pick up his stuff at the gym.
He then took to Instagram and posted a photo of the Parkland school shooter with a caption that said he “considered shooting a bunch of people” for getting kicked out and “said I touched a girl,” it says in the report.
Augustama also wrote that he was “ready to shoot with a real gun or bazooka (sic),” the report said. He also sent a picture to one of the people at a gym, saying, “He’ll be the first when I get my gun,” the report said.
The post, police say, also included a threat to harm an employee at another local gym, the KO Zone.
Attalla said he has since learned that Augustama has been kicked out of numerous boxing gyms. “He’s not stable in the head,” he said. Cops say the threats have not been idle.
Augustama then drove to Auto Pawn & Jewelry in Opa-locka Tuesday afternoon and posted $150 bail for an AK-47 rifle.
By then, details of the threats to Cmdr. Kevin Ruggiero. Along with Sgt. Eladio Paez and Detective Joshua Lara began following his Instagram page – and managed to arrest him at the pawn shop.
Augustama couldn’t take the gun immediately because he didn’t have a concealed weapons permit, Miami Detective Luddwidge Refuse told a Miami-Dade judge Wednesday.
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“If he didn’t (didn’t) have a concealed weapons license, I think he would have bought the gun and been able to carry out his threats,” Refuse said.
According to the police report, Augustama admitted to publishing the threats and purchasing the AK-47. Born in Haiti, Augustama moved to the United States as a young boy, where he graduated from North Miami Beach High.
By the age of 15, he had begun winning state and world titles and had a 60-10 amateur record with the Hollywood Police Athletic League boxing team. He made his professional debut in 2010, with proceeds from an early fight donating to relief efforts for survivors of the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation.
“That will always remain in my heart,” Augustama later told the Herald. “When you think you’re having a bad day, many people in Haiti are still struggling to rebuild their lives. That puts everything into perspective.”