'He was supposed to help people': Grafton neighbor shocked by arrest of former Aurora pharmacist
GRAFTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- CBS 58 is learning more about the pharmacist accused of tampering with COVID-19 vaccines. CBS 58 is not naming the 46-year-old man from Grafton until he is formally charged, which could happen on Monday, Jan. 4.
The suspect is in the Ozaukee County Jail with multiple felony charges pending. He is a now former employee of Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.
Dr. Jeff Bahr, president of Aurora Health Care Medical Group, said the man deliberately took 57 vials of Moderna vaccines out of the refrigerator.
"This was a situation involving a bad actor as opposed to a bad process," Bahr said.
State records show the suspect has an active pharmacy license. That is what one of his neighbors find so troubling.
"He's a pharmacist. Like doctors, they're there to take an oath to help people not hurt people. And that's what I think got me the most is he was supposed to help people in the hospital, but he actually hurt them more," said the suspect's neighbor, Tim Skow.
Skow said he doesn't know the suspect well, but he saw him get taken away in handcuffs.
"With him being a pharmacist, he should actually know how bad this coronavirus is. And why he did it, I have no idea. But it was a stupid thing for him to do," he said.
Fifty-seven people were given the shots, but doctors said they pose no health risks.
Aurora officials and Grafton police said as a result of the pharmacist's actions, more than 500 doses of vaccine are now "useless."
Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer of UW Health, said that's a huge loss.
"It’s hard to know what to say just because we don’t have all the details. I think ultimately what it boils down to is that there is very few things more precious than this vaccine in the world right now," Pothof said.
As for why the suspect would have done this, Bahr said he is not speculating.
"We're really not able to make any judgments on motive at this time. That's something that I'm sure will be looked at by the authorities that are now handling the investigation," Bahr said.
The doses were estimated between $8,000 and $11,000.