The victim's opportunity for escape arose when Medina briefly left her unattended at Walgreens. (HCSO)

Florida Woman Escapes From Maniac Who Kidnapped And Tortured Her For Months

The victim's opportunity for escape arose when Medina briefly left her unattended at Walgreens. (HCSO)
Suspect Walter Medina, 48 (HCSO)

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. – A man who inflicted months of torture and pain to a woman who was panhandling has been arrested after the woman escaped Monday from his van.

According to Hillsboroigh County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday deputies were dispatched to a Mobil gas station in Seffner after a caller reported an injured female had just escaped from a van and needed help.

The victim, who had been panhandling in the area of Hillsborough Avenue and Habana Avenue since January 2024, met the suspect, Walter Medina, 48, during that time.

Read: Illinois Woman Kidnaps And Kills Car Salesman During Test Drive

Deputies say initially Medina provided the victim with food and narcotics, but his actions turned violent as he subjected her to months of relentless physical abuse and captivity.

Medina repeatedly assaulted the victim using a wooden baseball bat and a flathead screwdriver, inflicting severe injuries including, but not limited to, broken ribs, deep puncture wounds, and extensive bruising.

Walter Medina, 48
Walter Medina, 48

Over the course of approximately 2.5 months, the victim endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of Medina as he forcibly transported her around the Tampa Bay area and threatened to kill her if she fled or sought help.

The victim’s opportunity for escape arose when Medina briefly left her unattended at Walgreens. When deputies arrived they noted the victim sustained numerous injuries to her face and body and she was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.

Read: 76-Year-Old Lakeland Pilot Killed In Plane Crash In South Lakeland

“I can’t imagine the torture this victim endured for months, but I can imagine the relief she felt when our deputies arrived,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I have to commend the bravery of the victim for escaping her captor and seeking help. Our thoughts are with her as she recovers from this traumatic ordeal.”

HCSO detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Medina for the following charges: Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed False Imprisonment, Aggravated Battery with Great Bodily Harm, Tampering with a Witness, and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

Medina was arrested following a pursuit with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the Lakeland Police Department, and the Florida Highway Patrol on April 2, 2024.

“This suspect’s reign of violent terror is now over,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “I am endlessly grateful for our law enforcement partners who put their lives on the line in service and protection of our community while apprehending this suspect. This joint effort exemplifies the strength of our community’s law enforcement network and our shared commitment to keeping our streets safe.”

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