‘Paramedic of the Year’ charged in plot to steal COVID-19 vaccines

Joshua Colon told detectives he was covering up for his supervisor who 'joked with him' about taking 'some vaccines for the supervisor's mother'

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A man who was once named “Paramedic of the Year” is now an alleged criminal.

Joshua Colon, 31, is being accused of falsifying COVID-19 vaccine consent forms and for missing doses. The Polk County, Florida paramedic has been arrested and formally charged.

Colon told detectives he was covering up for his supervisor who “joked with him” about taking “some vaccines for the supervisor’s mother,” per a news release obtained by CNN.

Joshua Colon thegrio.com
Joshua Colon (CREDIT: POLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE)

On Jan. 6, Colon received three vials that contained 10 vaccine doses to administer to firefighters, who were also expected to fill out consent forms. But by the end of the day, some of the documents for the doses were missing.

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It was later discovered that three of the consent forms were fake. Two of the firefighters reported never taking the vaccine and the other did not exist.

He later admitted that he signed the forms himself.

“According to Colon, he refused to provide those vaccines to the supervisor, at which time the supervisor said he would tell those higher up in the chain of command that Colon was selling vaccines outside of work,” per the news release.

“What occurred was, there were three syringes with three doses of the vaccine that Joshua Colon put in a plastic bag, put in a special refrigerator and sealed it. And then, at the direction of (the supervisor) he took a break,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd at a news conference.

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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Two doses were later found in the supervisor’s car.

“The bottom line is, Joshua tried to cover for the (supervisor),” Judd said. “Joshua set up the circumstance for the vaccines to have been stolen. Had Joshua simply gone to his boss right then, he’d have been the hero.”

Colon was charged with “Four counts of forgery, four counts of uttering a forged instrument, four counts of falsifying medical records, two counts of creating a fictional personal ID, as well as criminal use of personal ID and official misconduct,” according to a sheriff’s office news release viewed by CNN.

Colon made a comment through his attorney.

He “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 was named “Paramedic of the Year” for his service during a bad multi-vehicle accident in 2020.

The paramedic was released on bond.

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