Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

A man in Florida was arrested after a woman who had been kidnapped and tortured for months managed to escape from his minivan. The victim had met Walter Medina while panhandling and he initially helped her with food and narcotics before subjecting her to relentless physical abuse. Medina allegedly used a baseball bat and a screwdriver to inflict broken ribs, puncture wounds, and bruising on the woman while holding her against her will for two and a half months. He also threatened to kill her if she tried to escape or seek help.

The woman was able to escape when Medina briefly left her unattended at a Walgreens and she was found by deputies at a gas station in Seffner with numerous injuries. She was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment. Medina led law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase in his van across Polk and Osceola Counties, reaching speeds of over 100 mph before eventually being disabled by striking a raised median. Troopers deployed a K-9 to apprehend him after he refused to surrender.

Sheriff Chad Chronister commended the victim for her bravery in escaping and seeking help, stating that he couldn’t imagine the torture she endured over the months. He also praised the law enforcement partners for their efforts in apprehending Medina. The suspect was charged with attempted second-degree murder, armed kidnapping, armed false imprisonment, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, tampering with a witness, and tampering with physical evidence. Medina had an arrest history that included charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and robbery.

The victim had been panhandling in Tampa since January when she met Medina and was subsequently subjected to months of abuse and captivity. Medina’s violent actions included using a baseball bat and screwdriver to inflict injuries on the woman. Deputies responded to a witness report of an injured woman escaping a van at a gas station in Seffner. Medina attempted to escape capture and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase before being apprehended with the help of a K-9.

Medina had a history of violence and had previously served time in prison for false imprisonment as well as other charges. The victim’s escape and subsequent arrest of the suspect highlighted the strength of the law enforcement network in the community and their shared commitment to keeping the streets safe. Sheriff Chronister expressed gratitude to the law enforcement partners for their efforts in apprehending Medina and putting an end to his reign of violent terror. The victim was recovering from her traumatic ordeal as authorities worked to ensure justice was served in the case.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.