We’ve got another case of a Florida Man doing very Florida Man things.
This specific Florida man, who was ironically named “2020 paramedic of the year,” was arrested after assisting in the theft of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
According to NBC, the 21-year-old named Joshua Colon was arrested on Monday and now faces charges of forgery, fraud, and misconduct. Colon reportedly admitted to forging paperwork that covered up his supervisor’s theft of three syringes filled with the Moderna vaccine.
"The investigation is ongoing, including what role the supervisor has in the theft of the vaccines and the creation of fraudulent and forged medical records," a statement from the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Colon claims he committed the fraud at the request of his supervisor, Polk County Fire Rescue Captain Anthony Damiano. Local authorities said during a press conference that they caught wind of the crime after they noticed “discrepancies” on three forms filled out by Colon.
Accoring to the award-winning paramedic, Damiano asked him to take a break after joking about wanting a vaccine for his mother. When Colon returned, he says the three pre-filled syringes disappeared from where they were being stored.
"Colon advised he did not question his supervisor in reference to the missing vaccines, however, he immediately became suspicious," the statement reads. "Colon did not report this incident to anyone within Polk County Fire Rescue."
Instead of turning in his boss, Colon then falsified the paperwork which listed former firefighters who had never received doses. Law enforcement is planning to charge Damiano, who is currently at large.
"The bottom line is Joshua tried to cover for the captain, Joshua set up the circumstance for the vaccines to have been stolen,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a press conference on Tuesday. “Had Joshua simply gone to his boss right then he'd have been the hero, but instead he started falsifying paperwork making up people who didn't exist to cover it up.”
It’s clear people are desperate for the vaccine, even those entrusted with its care. Celebrities are offering doctors ungodly amounts of money to get it, while one start-up CEO allegedly lifted about a dozen doses.
But Colon’s attorney, David Carmichael, said his client faced a "very difficult situation.”
"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," Carmichael said in a statement.
Colon resigned on Friday.