BROOKSVILLE — A botched robbery by former residents led to the hospitalization of a homeowner Friday afternoon, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say 44-year-old Bonnie Hartmann and 35-year-old Jonathan Rowe III “bound, gagged and beat” the owner of a home they were evicted from in December. The duo told deputies they came to the home to “retrieve belongings they left behind,” but things got violent after a loud noise woke up the homeowner, a news release states.
Hartmann and Rowe would be arrested on charges of armed robbery and armed kidnapping.
The Sheriff’s Office said it became aware of the beating after a neighbor saw a man covered in blood leaving the home and getting into a vehicle. The bloodied man was the homeowner, who was able to escape after other former residents — who happened to be returning to check for old mail — came to his aid.
After the former residents loaded the man into their car, they were promptly stopped by deputies on Ayers Road. Medical personnel responded to the location and took the man to a trauma center.
Neither the homeowner’s identity nor the extent of injuries were released by deputies.
Hartmann and Rowe told deputies that they entered the home in the Trillium subdivision through an unlocked door and began stealing valuables about 2:30 p.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office said.
The victim told deputies that he confronted the duo robbing him — who were masked — after a loud noise woke him. After a struggle where he managed to rip off Rowe’s mask, deputies say the duo tied him up, choked him and beat him for hours while they discussed what to do.
The beating wouldn’t come to an end until other former residents heard “a muffled scream” as they approached the front door. After breaking through a window to enter the home, they discovered the homeowner severely injured and lying on the living room floor, the news release states.
After deputies were dispatched to the home on the 14000 block of Wake Robin Drive, they discovered both Hartmann and Rowe still inside. After Hartmann exited without incident, deputies later found Rowe passed out in the attic.
Both suspects remained in custody on Monday afternoon at the Hernando County Detention Center, where Rowe was being held in lieu of a bail of $85,000. Hartmann was being held without bail due to a violation of probation charge stemming from a previous arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Office.