Ex-Olympic Athlete Charged after Threat of Mass Shooting

December 2, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

Even if a person only threatens to commit a crime, they can face harsh consequences in Florida. A recent case in Miami took place where a former Olympic athlete threatened to shoot members of his former gym, resulting in his arrest.

This article will give details from the case along with information on written threats in Florida.

What was the Incident?

Azea Augustama, 39, was arrested on November 22nd, after he threatened to commit a mass shooting at a Miami boxing gym. Augustama was a professional boxer who attended the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was called the “Haitian Hitman.”

Augustama had been residing in Miami and working as a personal trainer at the BOXR Gym on 1310 First Ave. According to the arrest report, Augustama was kicked out of the gym on November 11th, after getting into an argument with another trainer. His membership in the gym was revoked.

Augustama went to social media to address his anger at the gym. The defendant posted an image of Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz on his Instagram page. In the photo’s caption, Augustama threatened to shoot multiple people from the gym. One person mentioned in the caption had allegedly accused Augustama of “touch[ing] a girl.”

Miami Police stated that Augustama then sent someone an image of the person he got into the argument with saying, “he’s first when I get my gun or wish something else first.”

Augustama then drove to a pawn shop in Miami, where he placed a $150 deposit on an AK-47 rifle. The defendant was arrested nearly three hours later, facing two charges of written threats to commit a mass shooting and one charge of written threats to kill or cause bodily injury.

After appearing in a Miami-Dade court on Wednesday, Judge Mindy Glazer imposed a $3 million bond and a strict “total lockdown” house arrest requirement. Augustama’s attorney tried to object to the bond price, explaining that their client couldn’t afford it. However, the judge maintained her decision.


The owner of the BOXR Gym, Mario Attalla, was questioned about the incident which caused Augustama’s rage. “I think it was just a small incident inside the gym where he was just being very rude to one of the trainers that work(s) here,” said Attalla. “The trainer basically said to him, ‘Look, I’ve got a class running, we’ve got people here, I just need you to finish up your training.’”

Attalla addressed Augustama about the situation further, stating he couldn’t talk to people that way. After becoming angrier, Attalla said he revoked the ex-boxer’s membership.

Police spoke to the employees of Lucky Pawn & Jewelry, where Augustama placed the deposit for the rifle. “At first, he wanted to get it right away,” said employee Lincoln Erazo. “But I explained to him that he cannot, [he had] to wait seven days.”

Judge Glazer gave the following comment on the case after maintaining the $3 million bond set price: “I believe [Augustama] poses a great danger to the community, as well as the victims, based on his actions and the threats that were made.”

Written Threats in Florida

Florida Statute 836.10 codifies written or electronic threats to do bodily harm, kill, or commit a mass shooting or act of terrorism. An “electronic record” is defined as any record that is created, modified, archived, received, or distributed electronically which contains any combination of text, graphics, video, audio, or pictorial represented in digital form; however, it does not include a telephone call.

It is unlawful for any individual to send, transmit, post or procure the transmission of a writing or other record, in any manner in which it may be perceived by another person, when in such writing or record the person makes a threat to:

  • Do bodily harm or kill another person; or
  • Conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.

If any person violates the law above, they can be charged with a second-degree felony in Florida. A second-degree felony has a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

To learn more about Written Threat Crimes in Florida, you can go to our informative blog page here.

Attempting a Criminal Offense

Under Florida Statute 777.04(1), a criminal attempt occurs when an individual tries to commit a crime but fails. Technically, it must be an “act toward the commission” of an offense that the individual was attempting to commit that fails due to the individual or an outside force intervening.

This means that a person who simply thought of doing something would not fall under this definition. An actual action must have occurred, such as going to a store to buy a gun or putting a deposit down for one.

For the state to prove a defendant committed the crime of attempt, they must assert each element beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant did more than just think about the crime, engaging in any action that takes them one step closer to perpetrating the crime, and
  2. The defendant would have been successful in their commission of the criminal act if not for their own failure, or something/one intervening to stop the defendant.

Florida Law recognizes that not doing something isn’t as bad as committing an act. This is why Florida Statute 774.04(5)(a) contains a defense to the crime of attempt – abandonment, as well as a lower punishment that the commission of the crime.

Those who are found guilty of Attempting a Criminal Act are punished one level below the offense attempted. This means that a second-degree felony would be punished as a third-degree felony instead, A third-degree felony has a penalty of up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

The defense of abandonment can apply to defendants who abandon their attempt to commit a criminal act or when they try to prevent the criminal act from happening. Those who recognize that what they were attempting to do was wrong could potentially use this defense against their charges.

To read more about Attempted Crimes in FL, visit our blog page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Written threats are taken extremely seriously in the state of Florida. If you or someone you love has been accused of making a written threat, it is imperative to seek out legal advice from a skilled Tallahassee criminal defense attorney. Expensive fines and imprisonment are two possible outcomes from a written threat conviction.

Don Pumphrey and his team have years of experience working with clients from all walks of life across Florida. We understand the importance of your future and will stand in your corner to fight to protect it. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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