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Man charged with attempted murder, animal cruelty in Bradenton

Deputies say they found a woman lying near a condo doorstep "severely beaten and stabbed."
Credit: KGW
Police car

BRADENTON, Fla. — One man is facing charges of attempted murder and animal cruelty after deputies say they found a woman severely beaten and stabbed at a Bradenton Condo complex.

Just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office says it received a call that a woman was severely bleeding outside one of the condo units at the Sarabay Coves Condominiums and that a man was inside the unit attempting to kill a dog.  

Deputies say they arrived to find Benjamin Merrell, 31, outside in the parking lot, covered in blood. When approached by deputies, they say he attempted to run away but was quickly caught.

Deputies found a woman lying near the condo doorstep "severely beaten and stabbed," according to a law enforcement report. The sheriff's office says deputies then entered the unit to find an injured dog.

According to the report, the woman was transported to a local hospital in critical condition but is stable and expected to survive. Deputies say the dog was taken to an animal hospital for treatment and is expected to recover. 

Merrell was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries. He remains in custody there under the supervision of deputies, according to the sheriff's office.

The incident is still under investigation.

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