CLEARWATER, Fla. - Joe Bruno can barely walk. When you get a closer to the 44-year-old, you can see why. "They basically beat me silly," said Bruno.
Bruno has cuts on his head and bruises all over his body. He even unbuttoned his shirt to show the marks from several severe blows. Pasco Deputies said he was beaten by a baseball bat.
"I don't really remember that much. It's hard to remember. But I know I got beat by a stick. I had scars on my skull and my forehead and black-and-blue marks everywhere. I mean the bruises are everywhere," said Bruno.
Pasco Deputies arrested three people, not only for Bruno's brutal beating, but also for attacking his neighbor. A 69-year-old man named David Ragon got suspicious after he saw the trio taking items from Bruno's home.
"I'm alive because of David. He saved my life. You don't think I don't know that. Sure I do. If he wasn't there, I wouldn't be here today," said Bruno.
It's difficult for Bruno to get the words out and to piece together what happened. Deputies say he was attacked by a woman who shared his house.
He met Bobbie Jo Curtis on a singles website. He then invited her and her 16-year-old son Bryan to move in.
Just over a week ago, the Curtises, along with one of their friends, Vanessa Musson, are accused of tying up Bruno and violently attacking him. Deputies said they then stole some of his items, including guns.
"I just knew her (Bobbie Jo Curtis) two days before I got attacked. They just moved in. And there really wasn't anything that led up to it, you know there wasn't anything like signs or anything like that. So, I don't really know," Bruno said.
He knows he nearly died. Doctors said he stopped breathing and they had to insert a tube to help him survive. He still has a bandage on his neck from the procedure.
"I think he made a miraculous recovery," said his father Nicholas.
NIcholas Bruno lives in New York and had been on a cruise when he got word about his son.
"My first thought in my mind was being helpless out in the ocean. Being out there but knowing what to do or think. It was very difficult," said the elder Bruno.
He managed to get off the ship, and has been at his son's side trying to help him recover. After more than a week in the hospital, at one point in critical condition, Joe Bruno was released Monday.
"He's doing ok. He is in a great deal of pain. But it's not just the physical injuries I am worried about. He still has a lot of fear in him. A lot of psychological things going on with him," said Nicholas Bruno.
But there is also a little comfort. all three suspects are behind bars. A tip led to Bobbie Jo and Bryan Curtis who were found at a nearby hotel.
And then, in a bizarre twist, after being on the run for more than a week, Vanessa Musson was arrested at her attorney's apartment in Tampa.
"I was happy to see them caught and I hope the judicial system in Florida should work the way it should work and the people are punished for what they did," said Nicholas Bruno.
No matter what happens Joe's not sure if he will ever feel safe again. But he plans on never meeting anyone else on the internet.
"No way, I will never do that again. I don't think anyone should ever invite anyone into their home if they met on the internet," said Bruno.
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