A Naples man was arrested today and charged with attempted murder for beating a pharmacist with a hole-punch machine as he demanded drugs, the Temple Terrace Police Department said.
The pharmacist he beat is in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital, police said.
Brandon James Walker, 25, was arrested around 2 p.m. today at the Clarion Hotel in Tampa and was also charged with armed robbery, occupied armed burglary and three other counts of burglary, the police department said.
Just before 8 p.m. Saturday, Walker went to the Terrace Medical Center, located at 11410 N. 56th St., and went into a medical business at the location, police said. He climbed through a crawl space in the ceiling to access Omega Drugs, a pharmacy in the medical center, police said.
Walker entered the pharmacy and surprised the pharmacist from behind. Walker then struck the pharmacist several times with a hole-punch machine as he demanded drugs, police said.
Walker left the scene with a small amount of prescription drugs, police said.
Walker was in Tampa working for Tim Moore Painting Co. of Naples, who had a contract to paint an Ybor City building.
This morning, Walker was involved in a hit-and-run crash with the company vehicle, police said.
He abandoned the company vehicle at the scene of the crash and boarded a Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority bus. On the bus, he began talking to a passenger on the bus. The passenger asked him about a mark on his face and Walker replied that he had been “bitten by a pharmacist,” police said.
He then borrowed the passenger’s cell phone and made a call.
The passenger thought Walker was acting suspiciously and called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, which contacted the Temple Terrace police.
Temple Terrace police officers interviewed the passenger and were able to get Walker’s name and the location of the hotel where he was staying.
Walker was located at the hotel and booked into Orient Road Jail in Tampa.