‘She was crying and screaming’: Seffner gas station worker helped woman escape alleged kidnapper

SEFFNER, Fla. (WFLA) — Ashraf Zakher was working at a Mobil Gas Station in Seffner on Monday when he saw a woman run into the store in distress.

“She went into the bathroom and locked herself in. She was crying and screaming so bad,” Zakher said.

Zakher said that prompted him to call 911. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to discover a victim with severe injuries.

Man held woman captive in Tampa Bay, tortured her for months: Deputies

According to HCSO, the woman had just escaped her alleged abuser , 48-year-old Walter Medina. The victim met Medina while panhandling in Hillsborough County back in January.

“Medina initially probably seemed like a trusting person for this woman, he offered her food, and he offered her drugs,” said Amanda Granit, HCSO Spokesperson.

Granit says the situation turned violent over the course of two-and-a-half months with Medina repeatedly assaulting the victim with a wooden baseball bat and flathead screwdriver, leaving her with injures that included broken ribs and extensive brusing.

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