A Florida paramedic who recently received praise for his work in the medical field has been arrested for allegedly helping steal doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Colon, who was named 2020 Paramedic of the Year by a group of local nonprofit civic organizations earlier this month, was arrested on multiple charges of forgery, falsifying medical records, misconduct, and criminal use of a personal ID, among others, per the Polk County’s Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities began investigating after noticing discrepancies on release forms Colon filled out when administering vaccines to Polk County first responders. When authorities contacted some of the names of the vaccine recipients on the forms, several said they had not been vaccinated.
Colon later “confessed” to using false names on the forms after his supervisor, Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Anthony Damiano, allegedly threatened him if he didn’t give him vaccines for his family members, police said.
"Colon advised he did not question his supervisor in reference to the missing vaccines, however, he immediately became suspicious," the sheriff’s office said. "Colon did not report this incident to anyone within Polk County Fire Rescue."
Damiano’s arrest is “imminent” as he’s still at large, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the outlet.
Following his arrest, Colon expressed remorse for his actions.
"Mr. Colon deeply regrets his weakness in failing to alert the Chain of Command to the theft of the vaccine, accepts responsibility for his error in covering up the theft, and in an effort to protect the reputation of his agency, has resigned his position," Colon’s lawyer said.