Polk County (FL) Fire Rescue Paramedic Charged with Stealing Coronavirus Vaccines

Joshua Colon
Joshua Colon (Photo/Polk County Sheriff's Office)

A paramedic with Polk County (FL) Fire Rescue is accused of stealing three Moderna coronavirus vaccines meant for other firefighters, authorities said Tuesday.

Joshua Colon, 31, forged the vaccine screening and consent forms for missing vaccines, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Colon told police he was told to do so by his supervisor.

Colon had been given a Paramedic of the Year award in 2020, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He resigned from the department Friday and was charged Monday.

Fire Rescue Capt. Anthony Damiano will be arrested for his role once he returns from a work assignment in California, Sheriff Grady Judd told reporters at a Tuesday press conference, the newspaper reported.

The alleged theft began on January 6 when Colon, a training officer, was tasked with administering vaccines to first responders at Station 38 in Davenport, authorities said.

Colon told police Damiano joked with him that day about getting some vaccines for Damiano’s mother, police said. Investigators said Colon refused to provide the vaccines until his Damiano threated to report Colon for selling vaccines outside of work.

Colon then said he never reported the incident to anyone at Polk County Fire Rescue, police said.

Colon was released after posting bond and the investigation is ongoing.

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