MANATEE - A 34-year-old man was arrested after sheriff's deputies said he and another man beat and robbed a man of his cell phone, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.
Nelson Mendez told another story. He said the victim was his drug dealer to whom he owed more than $400, and that when the victim threatened him with a gun, he "wildly" swung a hammer, striking the victim in the head, according to a news release.
Sheriff's deputies arrested Mendez on an armed robbery charge, and while he was being booked into the Manatee County jail, guards found a small bag of powder cocaine taped to his groin, according to the report.
The incident started about 9:15 p.m. when the victim went to a residence in the 6300 block of 26th Street West to "hang out" with Mendez. Once inside, an unknown man, armed with an "Uzi-type firearm," jumped out of the closet and struck the victim in the head, causing him to fall down, the sheriff's office said.
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The gunman hit the victim several times while Mendez grabbed a hammer and beat the victim as well, according to the report.
The victim escaped by jumping through a sliding glass door leading to the driveway. The victim's girlfriend drove him to Manatee Memorial Hospital.
The other attacker was not located.
Mendez, who faces charges of armed robbery, introducing contraband into a jail and criminal non-support of dependents, was being held without bond at the jail.