MANATEE -- Tara Country Club residents reportedly saw a man covered in blood early Saturday, clad just in underwear, banging on cars with a metal object and carrying a handgun.
The dispatcher at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office was flooded with calls in the wee hours from Tara residents reporting a nearly naked man in their neighborhood. He would turn out to be attempted murder suspect Steven Pinel of Bradenton, said Dave Bristow, aheriff's office spokesman.
"By this time we knew who this was based on what happened prior in the evening in Bradenton Police Department's jurisdiction," Bristow said Monday. "When we got to Tara, we found him laying on the ground."
Pinel is charged with armed carjacking by the sheriff's office, Bristow said. He is being charged with attempted murder by the Bradenton Police Department.
Pinel's arrest in the 7300 block of Fountain Palm Circle by the sheriff's office about 3:20 a.m. Saturday ended a bizarre series of events.
Friday evening, Pinel is alleged to have shot his wife in the face with a small-caliber gun, leaving her badly wounded but still conscious.
A condition report on Pinel's wife was unavailable Monday. The BPD has described her wounds as non-life threatening.
Pinel's motive for the shooting is unknown, said Bradenton Police Chief Michael Radzilowksi.
After leaving the shooting scene in his vehicle, Pinel crashed near State Road 70 and Interstate 75. While on foot, he allegedly tried to steal a car from a woman who had pulled to the side of the road to help.
"The suspect pointed a gun at her and said, 'Give me your car keys.' She said, 'No,' and left the scene." Bristow said.
Pinel didn't shoot his attempted carjack victim likely because a gun malfunction had prevented him from shooting his wife more than once, according to the Bradenton police.
"The gun was an issue," said Radzilowski.
Pinel, held in the Manatee County jail without bond, suffered a broken neck in the car accident, Radzilowski said. He was treated and released from Manatee Memorial Hospital at 11 a.m. Sunday.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, Ext. 6686.