Brutal Hernando home invasion leaves 2 women severely injured

SPRING HILL, Fla.  (WFLA) – Hernando County neighbors are in shock Tuesday night after a brutal home invasion at on Middle Fairway Drive in the Silverthorn County Club gated community.

Two women were inside the house at the time and both were so badly beaten that they had to be airlifted to an area hospital. One of them is clinging to life.

Investigators say the suspect, Joseph Panarese, broke into the house, and beat his ex-girlfriend and her mother with some type of object and then took off. Kathleen Perkins, 55, was found in the home with traumatic injuries. The other victim, 27-year-old Samantha Perkins, chased Panarese when he took off. Deputies quickly saturated the area.

“Within 20 minutes, we were able to catch the suspect after a short foot chase,” Michael Terry of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.

The suspect was spotted moments later attempting to cross the Suncoast Parkway. He was quickly taken into custody by units in the area.

A neighbor of the victims’ made that frantic 9-1-1 call late Tuesday afternoon after hearing the horror coming from next door. “We lived here for 15, 20 years now and nothing like this ever happened,” Peter Papa said. “My prayers are out to (the victims).”

Papa and his wife said “in this day and age” they can believe this crime was committed.

Now the neighborhood is left to wonder how this could happen. Residents are also hoping their neighbors survive this outrageous ordeal.

“It’s always been a safe community,” neighbor Jill Myer said. “You know, we always keep our doors unlocked. We thought it was safe.”

Panarese was arrested by detectives, charged with Home Invasion Robbery with Weapon and Aggravated Battery with Deadly Weapon.

Physicians have advised that both victims are expected to recover from their injuries.

The case remains under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time.

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