POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Polk County’s 2020 Paramedic of the Year was arrested by the sheriff’s office Tuesday after allegedly helping a supervisor steal coronavirus vaccines meant for Polk County first responders.
Almost makes me miss home: Polk County's 2020 "paramedic of the year" arrested for stealing coronavirus vaccines meant for first responders https://t.co/wj1VrjqPEZ— Max Steele (@maxasteele) January 27, 2021
According to the police report, 31-year-old Joshua Colon stole three doses’ worth of the Moderna vaccine, then forged the vaccine screening and consent forms.
Colon reportedly told detectives he was directed to do so by his supervisor, a captain with the fire department who Grady said will likely be arrested upon his return home from vacation.
An emergency worker in Florida was arrested this week in connection with the theft of coronavirus vaccine doses, just 12 days after he had been recognized as a county’s “paramedic of the year,” the authorities said on Tuesday.https://t.co/5GkFNtAQP8— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 27, 2021
Polk County Fire Rescue has been assigned to delivering COVID vaccines to first responders in the county, and Colon had been tasked with administering those vaccines. On Jan. 6, Colon received three vials containing 10 vaccines each, and was directed to administer those to first responders at Station 38 in Davenport.
At the completion of the day, Colon was asked to report the total doses administered. He reported administering 28 vaccines, noting that two of them were no good. He later retracted himself and said he administered 27, noting that three were waste.
Days later, Colon was questioned regarding inconsistencies with vaccine screening and consent forms. According to deputies, Colon provided consent forms with names of three different people– two firefighters who denied receiving the vaccine, and one person who didn’t exist. Colon later admitted to detectives the three forms were fictitious.
- 4 counts forgery (F3) $1,000 bond each
- 4 counts uttering forged instrument (F3) $1,000 bond each
- 4 counts falsifying medical records (M2) $250 bond each
- 1 count official misconduct (F3) $1,000 bond each
- 1 count criminal use of personal ID (F3) $1,000 bond each
- 2 counts creating fictional personal ID (F3) $1,000 bond each