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Corona EMT charged with theft from undercover investigator posing as patient

Aug. 4, 2023 By Bill Parry

An FDNY Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) from Corona was arrested Aug. 2 and charged with grand larceny after a sting operation by the city’s Department of Investigation (DOI).

EMT Luis Carrillo, 43, faces up to four years in prison after he allegedly stole more than $600 in cash from an undercover DOI investigator posing as an ill patient. The sting operation, known as an integrity test, was prompted by previous theft allegations made against Castillo. The office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is prosecuting the case.

According to the criminal complaint, DOI conducted the integrity test at about 3:26 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, in which an undercover DOI investigator posed as a patient in need of medical assistance. The investigator was transported to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment, in an ambulance staffed by Castillo. During the transport, the undercover investigator saw the defendant remove the undercover investigator’s wallet, which contained $1,100 in marked bills. Once the undercover investigator was dropped off at the hospital, he discovered that $690 was missing from his wallet. A team of DOI investigators conducted surveillance of the operation and stopped the ambulance after it left the hospital. DOI investigators approached the defendant, who was in the ambulance, and recovered $600 in marked bills from the defendant’s front right pocket. Investigators did not find the additional $90 that was missing from the undercover investigator’s wallet. Castillo was immediately arrested.

“This defendant took an oath to provide emergency medical assistance with diligence and compassion, but instead used his position to steal from an individual who appeared to be in need of care, according to the charges,” DOI Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber said. “The disgraceful charged conduct stands in stark contrast to the FDNY’s countless EMTs who act with honor and integrity every day, delivering critical care to New Yorkers in need.”

Castillo, who has been employed as an FDNY EMT since October 2012 and receives an annual salary of nearly $60,000, was suspended after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court late Wednesday night on a criminal complaint charging him with grand larceny, petit larceny and official misconduct.

“At our most vulnerable, we as a city should be able to trust those charged with our care,” Katz said. “The city entrusts EMTS to do just that and that trust was allegedly violated in this case. Thank you to the Department of Investigation for their work. My office will hold the defendant to account.”

Following his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, Castillo was released on his own recognizance. He is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 6.

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