NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Manatee Co. man accused of beating, stabbing woman and trying to kill dog

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 13:09:48-04

A Manatee County man was arrested for attempted murder and animal cruelty after deputies say he beat and stabbed a woman and tried to kill a dog.

Just before 6 p.m. Sunday, someone called 911 and said they found a woman severely bleeding outside the Sarabay Cove Condos, and that a man was inside the unit trying to kill a dog.

When deputies arrived, they found the suspect, 31-year-old Benjamin Merrell, outside in the parking lot covered in blood. When they approached him, authorities say he tried to run, but was quickly caught.

Deputies found the victim lying near the condo doorstep severely beaten and stabbed. She was taken 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 who was taken to a local animal hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.

Authorities say Merrell was also injured, and was taken to a nearby for hospital treatment, where he remains in custody under the supervision of deputies at this time.

Merrell has been charged with Attempted Murder (Premeditated) and Animal Cruelty.