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Deputies: Man gets beaten up after failed drug deal

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:30 PM
SPRING HILL -

A man was arrested Thursday on aggravated battery and burglary charges following accusations he beat a man unconscious four days earlier.

James Grady Sr., 43, 6072 Airmont Drive in Spring Hill, was booked shortly after 3 p.m. at the Hernando County Jail. As of Monday afternoon, he remained behind bars in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Deputies with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded Aug. 12 to the Save-A-Lot at 7351 Spring Hill Drive following reports of a man who was beaten up in the parking lot.

Garrett May told authorities he had met two men in the parking lot to sell some leftover prescription pills for some extra cash, according to the sheriff's office.

"In this case, the 'victim' was dealing drugs and as a result received seven staples in his head," wrote agency spokeswoman Denise Moloney in a media release.

Deputies were called to the scene after a witness, who was parked in a car nearby, watched the beating take place.

During his interview with detectives, May said he received a call from Ralph Viola, who asked whether May had any extra pills, according to the release.

May agreed to a meeting and later drove to the grocery store parking lot, where he encountered Viola and Grady, deputies said.

May and Grady talked about the finances of the sale and the latter started getting angry, according to reports.

When May tried calling off the drug deal, Grady got out of his vehicle, reached into May's car and beat him, deputies said.

May got out of his car through the passenger door and the 240-pound Grady punched him in the face, which caused May to fall to the ground and lose consciousness, said Moloney.

By the time May regained consciousness, both Grady and Viola were gone.

Viola identified the suspect, said Moloney. The two are roommates.

Neither Viola nor May was charged in the incident.

May was transported to Spring Hill Regional Hospital and received seven staples in the back of his head, deputies said.


wholt@hernandotoday.com (352) 544-5283
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