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Naples man arrested for attacking pharmacist

Police charged a 25-year-old Naples man with attempted murder in connection with a pharmacy robbery in Temple Terrace over the weekend that left the pharmacist hospitalized.

Brandon James Walker, of 1821 Richard Street in Naples, was arrested at around 2 p.m. Monday at a hotel in Tampa.

He is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, occupied armed burglary and three other counts of burglary.

Police say Walker broke into the Omega Drugs pharmacy shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday and surprised the pharmacist from behind.

Walker entered the rear of the shopping center through another business, and then climbed through a crawl space in the ceiling to access the pharmacy, according to police.

The suspect struck the victim several times with a commercial hole-punch machine, while demanding drugs.

He escaped with a small quantity of prescription drugs, police said.

The pharmacist, Akinbo Babatunde, 59, of Wesley Chapel, remains in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital.

Walker, an employee of Tim Moore Painting Co. of Naples, was in Tampa for a work project, painting a building in Ybor City.

Early Monday morning, he was involved in a hit-and-run crash with the company vehicle. He boarded a HART bus and began talking with a fellow passenger.

Police say he told the passenger he had been "bitten by a pharmacist" when asked about a mark on his face.

Walker borrowed the passenger's cell phone to make a call. The other passenger then called the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, which contacted the Temple Terrace Police Department.

After the speaking with the passenger, investigators were able to figure out who Walker was and where he was staying.

Walker was arrested at the hotel and booked into the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County.

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