Sheriff: Bradenton man sexually batters woman, says he’s going to kill her

Benjamin Merrell allegedly committed sexual battery in Bradenton.
Benjamin Merrell allegedly committed sexual battery in Bradenton.(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - A Bradenton man has been arrested after he allegedly sexually battered a woman and said he was going to kill her.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Benjamin Douglas Merrell locked a woman in a bathroom and continuously punched her in the face. He then allegedly pinned her down, got on top of her, and squeezed her neck with both hands.

Merrell then told the woman, “I’m gonna kill you,” repeatedly, while biting her neck and arm. Police said Merrell then stomped on the woman’s pelvic area, grabbed CLR cleaner from the bathroom cabinet, and poured it all over the woman’s body, eyes and hair.

The police report said that the woman was trying to get Merrell off her when she put two of her fingers into Merrell’s eye.

The woman then said Merrell left and was gone for at least an hour, but she was blind at this point.

According to police, she was finally able to crawl out of the bathroom, through the dining room, and to the front door where she started calling for help.

A witness came to the woman and called 911.

The victim then mentioned that Merrell has a dog and she heard the dog whimper at some point. According to the police report, the woman thinks that Merrell may have stabbed the dog before the attack.

Merrell was arrested on the day of the incident and hospitalized. He was previously charged with attempted murder, but that charge has changed to sexual battery.

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