A Florida man who was called 2020 paramedic of the year admitted to detectives that he played a role in the supposed theft of coronavirus vaccine dosages, the Polk County Constable stated on Tuesday.
Joshua Colon, 31, was apprehended on Monday and deals with forgery, fraud and misconduct charges after he confessed to forging documents to conceal what he stated was a manager’s theft of three pre-filled syringes of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
In a press conference, Polk County Constable Grady Judd said that authorities saw there were “disparities” and “total confusion” on 3 different vaccine forms submitted by Colon, who had actually been offered three complete vials of the vaccine on Jan. 6 to administer to Polk County first responders.
Authorities called numerous of the names of vaccine recipients on the kinds and found that they were previous firefighters who stated they had never gotten any dosages.
Judd said that the 2020 Paramedic of the Year later “admitted” and began to work together with private investigators, confessing to using false names for “fraudulent” and “wrong” reasons.
Colon stated he did so at the wish of his manager, Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Anthony Damiano.
Colon told detectives that Damiano joked about desiring a vaccine for his mother and later on threatened him when Colon would not provide him the vaccine.
Damiano bought Colon to take a break, after which 3 pre-filled syringes vanished from a sealed bag in a refrigerator.
” Colon advised he did not question his manager in reference to the missing vaccines, however, he immediately ended up being suspicious,” a declaration from the Polk County Sheriff’s Workplace said. “Colon did not report this incident to anybody within Polk County Fire Rescue.”
However, when asked to produce documents, Colon then created the documents and said he had actually given dosages to people who never ever received them.
” The investigation is continuous, including what function the supervisor has in the theft of the vaccines and the development of deceptive and created medical records,” the Polk County Sheriff said in the declaration.
Reached by telephone Tuesday afternoon, a representative for the Polk County Constable said that charges against Damiano are “impending” which he is at large.
” The bottom line is Joshua tried to cover for the captain, Joshua established the situation for the vaccines to have been stolen. Had Joshua simply gone to his manager right then he ‘d have been the hero, however rather he started falsifying paperwork comprising people who didn’t exist to cover it up,” Judd said at the Tuesday press conference.
Colon resigned on Friday and was jailed on Monday.
In a statement, David Carmichael, an attorney for Colon, said he dealt with a “really tight spot” after his manager supposedly demanded he provide the vaccines.
” Mr. Colon deeply regrets his weakness in failing to notify the Chain of Command to the theft of the vaccine, accepts obligation for his mistake in covering the theft, and in an effort to secure the credibility of his agency, has actually resigned his position,” Carmichael said.
Tim Fitzsimons is a press reporter for NBC News.