Man accused of beating elderly victim outside Publix in Winter Haven turns self in: police

A man wanted for allegedly attacking a 73-year-old man outside a Publix in Winter Haven has turned himself in.

Don Walker, 43, of Lake Wales has turned himself in at the Polk County Jail on Tuesday morning, police said.

Police say Walker nearly hit the victim with his truck, and then things got physical. 

The incident was caught on surveillance footage from a China Buffet.

"The victim yelled to the driver and a verbal altercation ensued. Walker then stopped his truck, approached the victim and struck him in the head," police said. "The victim told Walker that he was calling police and as he had his cell phone in his hand, Walker approached the man again and knocked him to the ground punching him multiple times."

Police say Walker then grabbed the man's phone and threw it causing it to shatter.

A Publix worker called 911.

"He is bleeding. His phone is all broken," said the caller. 

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"The sad part today is that verbal confrontation turns into an assault very quickly," said Stephen Walsh. 

Winter Haven Police said tips from Facebook helped them identify Walker as a suspect. 

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"I was raised that you respected the elderly, and you wouldn’t do anything like that no matter what they may have said to you, so it’s just horrible and there’s no excuse for it," said Winter Haven Chief of Police David Brannan. 

"Anytime we go anywhere we always make sure we’re going in and coming out and make sure that it’s safe both ways because we are old," said Bill Connolly. 

Police said the victim is recovering from injuries to his head and arms.

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