Officials said Julius Bender, 18, and Yahaziel Israel, 19, both of Sanford, were charged with attempted homicide, burglary with assault or battery and armed burglary.
Investigators believe Bender and Israel beat a 50-year-old man with a hammer inside his vehicle and then took him into the woods in the area of Beardall Avenue and Lincoln Street where they continued to attack him.
A witness that heard the victim’s cries for help and saw the beating called 911, but Bender and Israel fled the area before deputies arrived. The two men left in the victim’s vehicle, abandoning it a short distance away. Deputies found the victim in the woods, barely conscious and with severe head injuries.
A tip received through CrimeLine led investigators to Bender and Israel. Bender was then identified through witness identification, and Israel was linked to the vehicle through forensic evidence. Bender and Israel were booked into the Seminole County jail where they remain on a no bond status.
The victim’s injuries are life-threatening and he remains hospitalized at Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition. Investigators continue to investigate the relationship between Bender and Israel and the victim, but do not believe it was a random encounter.
Listen to the 911 call made that night by clicking on the link above.