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'Reign of Violent Terror': Woman Escapes After Allegedly Being Kidnapped, Tortured for Months

Walter Medina is facing several charges including attempted murder and kidnapping, say police

<p>Hillsborough County Sherif

Hillsborough County Sherif's Office

Walter Medina
  • A woman in Florida escaped to a Walgreens pharmacy seeking help, police say

  • She had several injuries to her body and face, including puncture wounds

  • The woman alleges Walter Medina assaulted her with a baseball bat and screwdriver, per police

A Florida man has been arrested after police say a woman escaped from a van in the parking lot of a Walgreens pharmacy and alleged he had been holding her captive and torturing her for more than two months.

Walter Medina, 48, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with several offenses including attempted murder and armed kidnapping, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

On Monday, police in Hillsborough County responded to a report at a gas station about an injured woman seeking help after she “escaped from a van,” the statement said.

The woman, who has not been named, had been panhandling in Tampa since January, and met Medina that month, per the statement. Authorities did not reveal her age.

The statement alleges that after he provided her with food and drugs, Medina “turned violent” and put her through “months of relentless physical abuse and captivity.”

Medina’s alleged torture severely injured the woman, who had broken ribs and “puncture wounds,” per police. He allegedly used tools such as a wooden baseball bat and a flathead screwdriver to inflict "unimaginable" torture upon the victim, the statement said.

Police further alleged in the statement that Medina “forcibly transported” the woman around the area and threatened her against seeking help or fleeing.

On Monday, Medina allegedly brought the woman in his van near a Walgreens pharmacy, according to the statement. She was able to escape when he left her “unattended,” police alleged.

After authorities responded, the woman was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries to her face and body, the statement said.

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It wasn’t immediately clear how Medina left the scene. On Tuesday, he was arrested after a pursuit by authorities that ended in a crash, the statement said. Once he was stopped, he allegedly refused to comply with officers' orders, WFLA reported.

He was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and will be taken to Orange County Jail after he is released, per ABC Action News.

Sheriff Chad Chronister applauded the alleged victim’s courageous escape.

“This suspect's reign of violent terror is now over," Chronister said, according to the statement.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Medina on charges of attempted murder, armed kidnapping, armed false imprisonment, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, tampering with a witness, and tampering with physical evidence.

It wasn't immediately clear if he has entered pleas or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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