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MAN ARRESTED IN WOMAN'S BEATING; DEPUTIES SEEKING SECOND SUSPECT

Hernando deputies arrested one man and are looking for another in the beating of a 49-year-old Brooksville woman Friday afternoon.

Authorities arrested Gary Abbate, 26, of Brooksville, early Saturday and charged him with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, armed robbery and grand theft auto, according to an arrest report. He is being held at the Hernando County jail in lieu of bond.

Abbate and Gary Wayne Sharp, who remained on the run Saturday, beat and robbed the victim at her house on Moon Road at 3:30 p.m. Friday before fleeing in her vehicle, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Black wouldn't comment on a motive and released few details about the incident, except to say the suspects knew the woman and used a weapon. She said it wasn't a gun or knife but didn't elaborate.

The woman is in critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she was flown Friday, Black said.

Authorities believe Sharp, 29, of 9236 Jayson Dr. in Brooksville, is still in Hernando County and may be driving the victim's 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer with Florida tag I080EI.

Sharp is white, 5 feet 6 and weighs about 146 pounds. He has short brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about this incident can call the Hernando County Sheriff's Office anonymous tip line at (352) 797-8477.

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