Manatee County man charged with attempted murder, animal cruelty

Manatee County man charged with attempted murder, animal cruelty
(Source: SOURCE: WYFF News 4)

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A man was arrested inside a South Bradenton condo, police say, after trying to kill a woman and a dog Sunday night.

Manatee County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Sarabay Coves Condominiums on 69th Avenue West, just before 6 p.m., March 14, after 911 operators were told a woman was severely bleeding outside one of the condo units, and that a man was inside the unit attempting to kill a dog.

According to the sheriff’s department, when deputies arrived, they encountered the suspect, Benjamin Merrell, outside in the parking lot covered in blood. When they attempted to make contact with him, he tried to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended.

Deputies found the victim lying near the condo doorstep severely beaten and stabbed. She was transported to an area hospital in critical condition, but is now stable and expected to survive.

Once inside the unit, deputies also located an injured dog, which was taken to a local animal hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.

Merrell, who was also injured, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, where he remains in custody.

Merrell has been charged with attempted murder (premeditated) and animal cruelty. The investigation continues.

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