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Arrest made in St. Petersburg Walmart attack

St. Petersburg detectives arrested a man in Tampa on Thursday suspected of robbing and beating another man with his own walker at a St. Petersburg Walmart last week.

Detectives arrested Harold Stewart, 37, on a charge of armed robbery of 66-year-old Jeffrey Hardeman. The attack occurred on Sept. 2 in the afternoon when police said Hardeman was approached by Stewart in the parking lot of the Walmart at 201 34th St. N. Stewart asked Hardeman for the time before putting him in a choke hold and beating him, at times with his own walker, police said. Stewart then stole Hardeman's wallet, robbing him of $600, before fleeing in a Dodge Durango, police said.

Detectives were able to identify Stewart through tips from the public. They also located the Durango, which was captured on Walmart surveillance video, said police spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez.

The arrest came during a presentation Thursday afternoon in which Hardeman was presented with $1,400 in donations and a new walker from four individuals, Fernandez said.

Fernandez said Hardeman was taken to the Tampa Police Department for questioning and would be transported to the Pinellas County jail.

Stewart served three years in prison for robbery with a deadly weapon, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. He was released in 2007 and is currently on probation.

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