Marion Co. paramedic accused of stealing prescription pills from patient

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. —

A Marion County paramedic accused of stealing prescription pills from a patient has resigned from his position.

Deputies said Winfield Hancock III stole hydrocodone while responding to a patient's house.

Hancock's coworker said he thought Hancock was acting suspiciously, so he called his boss.

Deputies were then called to Munroe Regional Medical Center after the patient's husband and the other emergency medical technicians noticed the meds were missing.

"The stuff that was going on with Mr. Hancock, they were kind of wary about it. They thought, 'Wait a minute, what's going on here?'" said Judge Cochran of the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives said Hancock admitted he stole the bottle of pain pills and hid it under the seat of his ambulance so he could get it later for his own personal use.

Hancock was arrested and remains jailed with a $5,000 bail. He had been with Marion County Fire Rescue since 2004.

"Abuse of the trust residents put in our hands and the mishandling of controlled substances is not something this department will ever condone," said Fire Rescue Chief Stuart McElhaney.

WFTV later learned Hancock had been arrested twice before, once for driving on a suspended license and another time on a disorderly conduct charge. Both instances were several years ago.