Veteran beat with own walker in St. Pete gets $1,300 in donations

Jeffrey Hardeman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A veteran who was robbed and beaten with his own walker is getting some help from good Samaritans.

The man accused of attacking Jeffrey Hardeman, Harold Stewart, is in police custody.

Harold Stewart, previous mug shot via the St. Petersburg Police Department
Harold Stewart, previous mug shot via the St. Petersburg Police Department

MORE: St. Pete police looking for man who attacked victim who was using walker

Jeffrey Hardeman has reason to smile again. Several people reached out to help the 67-year-old veteran after hearing he was robbed and beat last week.

“It just goes to show that there are people that do care and they don’t even know you and they care,” said Hardeman.

One of those donors is a retired New York police officer, Joseph Abolafia.  Abolafia gave Hardeman $600 to help pay his rent. Hardeman had the money stolen during the robbery.

“I was just so upset watching the story about this man being beaten and robbed in broad daylight and having his walker stolen,” said Abolafia.

Hardeman also got an additional $700 dollars from anonymous donors and a new walker.

But the best news came from St. Pete Police Chief Anthony Holloway when he announced Stewart had been arrested.

“The best thing you would want is this guy arrested,” said Chief Holloway. “Well I can tell you ten minutes ago, he’s in custody. His name is Harold Stewart. We just arrested him in Tampa. And Tampa right now is interviewing him. Our team found him out there.”

Chief Holloway said Stewart is on probation for robbery. He said surveillance of Stewart’s blue Dodge Durango, helped capture him.

“He was arrested in Tampa thanks to the media and the people out there to be able to find him and detectives located him,” said Chief Holloway.

Hardeman said he feels safer, knowing his attacker is behind bars.

“I feel confident being out there, that I’m not going to worry about this happening again,” said Hardeman.

Stewart is facing robbery charges.

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