Florida fire captain arrested in alleged theft of Covid-19 vaccine

A Florida firefighter turned himself in to authorities in connection with the alleged theft of Covid-19 vaccine meant for coworkers.

Anthony Damiano, a captain with Polk County Fire Rescue, allegedly took three syringes containing doses of Moderna’s vaccine, with the intent to give doses to his elderly mother, according to an arrest affidavit.
Damiano surrendered on Wednesday afternoon, secondo l'affidavit.
He has been charged with petit theft and causing another person to falsify official records as a public servant. He has been released on bond from the Polk County Jail, according to inmate records.
    CNN has attempted unsuccessfully to contact him for comment.
    Damiano is the second person arrested in this case. All'inizio di questa settimana, paramedic Joshua Colon was arrested for his alleged role in falsifying vaccine screening and consent forms that officials sayset up the circumstancethat led to the theft.
    Colon, who was named the local paramedic of the year nel 2020, was given vials of the vaccine on January 6 to administer to firefighters, hanno detto le autorità.
    According to the affidavit, Colon told investigators that Damianojoked with himabout getting some doses for his mother, telling the paramedic that he could report them aswaste.
    Colon says when he refused to give him the vaccine, Damiano threatened totell his supervisors that Colon is selling vaccines outside of work,” according to the sheriff’s affidavit.
    Colon stated he became frightened due to Captain Damiano’s rank in the agency,” secondo l'affidavit.
    Damiano ordered Colon to take a break, and when he returned to the station, three vaccine doses were missing from the refrigerator where it was stored, according to Colon’s statement to investigators.
    Colon thenmade up the stories and the false documentsto account for the missing doses, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Tuesday.
    Colon’s attorney, David R. Carmichael, told CNN in a statement that Colonencountered a very difficult situation when a supervisor demanded Mr. Colon provide unauthorized doses of Covid vaccine for use by the supervisor’s family.
    Colondeeply regrets his weakness in failing to alert the chain of command to the theft of the vaccine,” Carmichael said.
    Two of the doses were later found in Damiano’s car, secondo l'affidavit. They were no longer viable, according to Polk County Fire Rescue Chief Robert Weech.
    Damiano’s mother told investigators that her son had been trying to help her get vaccinated, secondo l'affidavit. She said she did not get the vaccine, and believed hewas attempting to help her obtain the vaccine legally.
      Damiano resigned from the Polk County Fire Rescue prior to surrendering to authorities, according to Chris Jonckheer, spokesperson for the department.
      Colon has also resigned, Weech said earlier this week.

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