Suspect arrested in St. Pete Walmart beating case

Victim sees good in community

St. Petersburg police arrested a suspect accused of robbing a 66-year-old man in a Walmart parking lot and beating him with his own walker.

Harold Stewart, 36, was arrested in Tampa Thursday. Police also said they located the Dodge Durango seen in surveillance video of the attack.

The arrest was made possible by an investigation that lasted nearly a week, and from tips given by the public.

At 1:04 p.m. last Friday, the victim, Jeffrey Hardeman, was walking toward the Walmart at 201 34th St. N., in St. Petersburg, using a walker. A younger man approached him and asked the time of day.

The attacker then put Hardeman in a choke hold, threw him to the ground and began punching him. He also used the walker in the attack.

The suspect took the victim's wallet, cash and other personal items. He then fled in a blue Dodge Durango.

Police described the suspect as a black man, 29-35 years old, 6 feet to 6-foot-2  in height, 190-210 pounds, and was wearing dark clothing.

The case drew the attention and sympathy of many in the Tampa Bay community. Wednesday, a man walked into the St. Pete Police Department and donated $600 in cash to Hardeman.

The donor only identified himself as Tom and left an envelope with this note:

From 1 vet to another, hope this makes things better.

Anyone with furtther information regarding this incident is asked to contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780.

(© 2016 WTSP)


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