Florida man who was recently named ‘Paramedic of the Year’ accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccines

A Florida man who was recently named ‘Paramedic of the Year’ is being accused of helping his supervisor steal COVID-19 vaccines meant for first responders.

Joshua Colon, 31, forged the vaccine screening and consent forms to help cover up the theft of three vials containing 10 doses each of the Moderna vaccine, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news conference Tuesday.

Colon was arrested on Monday, days after his resignation from Polk County Fire Rescue, Chief Robert Weech said.

According to authorities, Colon told investigators that a captain with the fire department had asked him to steal the vaccine.

Judd also arrested the captain when he returned home from a work assignment in California.

Polk County Fire Rescue had been delivering the coronavirus vaccines to first responders, and Colon was administering the shots, Judd said.

On January 6, paperwork filed by Colon included three falsified forms, investigators said. One had the name of a former Haines City firefighter, and two were fake names, one of which resembled a former Haines City firefighter.

During the investigation, the two firefighters were contacted and told investigators that they had not yet received the vaccine.

Colon later admitted to falsifying the paperwork, and said the captain had asked him to procure doses for his mother.

Colon has been charged with felony counts of uttering a false instrument, criminal use of personal identification, creating a fictitious person and falsifying an official record as a public servant.