Woman escapes kidnapper at Walgreens after months of captivity

TAMPA, FL – A woman who claimed to be held captive for months by a man who violently abused her managed to escape during a stop at a Walgreens pharmacy, according to authorities from Florida on Tuesday.

The victim seized her opportunity to run when the suspect, identified as Walter Medina, 48, momentarily left her by herself at a pharmacy in the Tampa area, as reported by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. A concerned citizen made a call to report that an injured woman had escaped from a van and needed assistance, leading to the dispatch of deputies to the scene on Monday.

Medina was apprehended on Tuesday following a police chase, with charges of attempted second-degree murder and armed kidnapping lodged against him.

Sheriff Chad Chronister expressed his relief at the arrest, stating that Medina’s “reign of violent terror is now over.” Medina, who has previously served time for false imprisonment, allegedly met the victim while she was panhandling. Officials indicate that he initially provided her with food and drugs before resorting to violence. The woman suffered from severe injuries, including broken ribs, deep punctures, and widespread bruising throughout her two-month-long confinement.

Sheriff Chronister commended the woman’s bravery, expressing his sympathy for her as she dealt with this traumatic experience. The woman, whose identity remains undisclosed for her safety, is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.

In addition to the aforementioned charges, Medina has been charged with armed false imprisonment, aggravated battery resulting in significant bodily harm, tampering with a witness, and tampering with physical evidence.