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Suspect who 'pummeled' elderly man outside Winter Haven Publix turns himself in

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Posted at 6:19 AM, Mar 28, 2022

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The man accused of "pummeling" an elderly victim outside of a Winter Haven Publix on Saturday has turned himself in, police say.

According to a Facebook post by the department, it happened outside of the Publix at SE Plaza on Cypress Gardens Boulevard around 2:20 p.m.

VIDEO: Winter Haven Police search for suspect who 'pummeled' elderly man outside Publix

As the 73-year-old victim exited the store and entered a crosswalk, police said a pewter-colored Ford F250 driven by 43-year-old Donald Walker "sped by faster than it should have" and came close to the elderly man.

The victim yelled at the Walker and the truck slowed down, police said. The two men exchanged words as the truck continued to drive away. Police said the victim went toward the exit where the truck was heading, toward Cypress Gardens Blvd., and the truck stopped.

Police said Walker got out of the truck and punched the elderly victim. When the victim said he was going to call 911, police said Walker walked back over and attacked the man again before he took his phone and smashed it on the ground which prevented him from calling for help.

“I think it's horrible and shows a lack of respect for any human. Especially our elderly. I was raised that you respected your elders, you would never do anything like that no matter what they said to you,” said Winter Haven Police Chief David Brannan.

Video showed Walker and his family dining and walking out of a China Buffet just before the incident.

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Police say numerous tips were received identifying Walker as the suspect. He turned himself in Tuesday morning at the Polk County Jail.

“He just needs to make it easy on himself and come in and turn himself in," Branna said just one day earlier. "He can turn himself here at the Winter Haven Police Department or he can go to the Polk County jail and turn himself in."