By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – A central Florida fire captain who reportedly stole COVID-19 vaccine meant for first responders has turned himself in to the authorities.

Polk County Fire Rescue Capt. Anthony Damiano, 55, faces a felony charge of falsifying an official record as a public servant and misdemeanor petit theft, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

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Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Tuesday that paramedic Joshua Colon, 31, was arrested Monday for covering up Damiano’s theft.

Colon had recently been named “Paramedic of the Year.”

Polk County Fire Rescue had been delivering the coronavirus vaccines to first responders, and Colon was administering the shots, Judd said. Colon reportedly forged the vaccine screening and consent forms to help cover up the theft of three doses of the Moderna vaccine.

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During an interview at his lawyer’s office, Colon told investigators that Damiano had asked him to take the vaccine. Colon told investigators he initially refused, but the captain threatened to report him for stealing and selling vaccines. Colon said that frightened him.

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

Damiano wasn’t arrested sooner because he had been on a work assignment in California, Judd said.

Damiano is free on $1,250 bail.

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