An FDNY EMT who's been on the job since 2004 was arrested yesterday after getting caught in a NYC Department of Investigation sting. Officials say Donald Vasquez of Brooklyn was caught on surveillance camera stealing $280 from a man whom he believed was injured. But the "patient" was actually an undercover investigator participating in an "integrity test," which was arranged after someone made a theft complaint against Vasquez. SPOILER: He scored a big fat F on this test (allegedly!).
According to the criminal complaint, Vasquez responded to an emergency call in a Brooklyn apartment, where he was asked to go into a bedroom to retrieve the "patient's" ID. While doing so, he allegedly helped himself to the money that was in the man's wallet. But apparently that wasn't enough, because surveillance video also shows him swiping additional cash from an envelope in the apartment, investigators say.
"Stealing money from an individual in a vulnerable situation is a fundamental breach of an EMT’s duty," DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said in a statement. "The conduct outlined in these charges is antithetical to the diligence and care shown by the many EMTS who help injured people every day in this city."
An FDNY spokesman tells us Vasquez has been suspended without pay for 30 days, and faces up to a year in jail on charges of Official Misconduct, Petit Larceny, and Possession of Stolen Property. On the plus side, at least the "patient" didn't "die" while the EMT was busy counting the money.