BROOKSVILLE - A Bushnell man was arrested on a charge of carjacking today after the victim identified him as her attacker later this morning, authorities said.
Tony James Smith, 23, was arrested and taken to the Hernando County Jail, where he was being held on a $100,000 bond.
A Hernando County Sheriff's deputy responded to the corner of Twigg Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shortly after 2:10 a.m. when he came upon the victim, Loretta Sanders, who was bleeding from her nose and mouth and had a swollen right eye, according to an affidavit.
Sanders told the deputy a man entered her passenger door and asked for a ride. When she refused, he began punching her in the face, she said.
She got out of the car and the suspect drove away toward Cortez Boulevard, deputies said.
Her car - a 1986 Toyota Corolla - was recovered at the overpass at Cortez and Interstate 75. The suspect was not located during the initial search.
A short time later, units noticed a man fitting the suspect's description at the Best Western parking lot, located at 30307 Cortez Blvd. A deputy drove Sanders to the scene, where she positively identified Smith, authorities said.