ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla – A man working with troubled youth found himself in trouble.
Joseph Oliver Warren, 66, a vocational training specialist at Saint Johns Youth Academy, part of the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice, was arrested last week after a report from the city’s sheriff’s office St. Johns County said he admitted to using someone’s card at an ATM.
The sheriff’s office says Warren visited a Publix ATM several times in July and August and withdrew nearly $700.
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The police report says Warren later admitted to using the credit card without the cardholder’s consent. A mother tells Action News Jax that the card holder is her son. She asked to remain anonymous to protect him.
“My son, he considered this man to be a pretty decent man,” she said. “He was like, ‘no, that can’t be true, that can’t be true.’ But he is; it’s heartbreaking for him. She says her son had worked hard during his time at the academy.
“He’s just like, ‘I just want my money back.’ He’s like, ‘I worked. I work at a fast food joint, I worked overtime and all that. And he’s like, ‘That’s not fair.’
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These parents claim that Warren took her son and other teenagers to the bank to open accounts, but she said he intercepted her son’s card, using it for himself.
“He was out shopping,” she added. Action News Dale Carson, Jax’s legal and safety expert, weighed in on the case: “He’s supposed to be helping kids who are struggling, doing the right job in our communities…and yet they’re being shown how to break the law,” he said. said.
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The teenager’s mother says the bank will not reverse the charges to her son’s account, and she is awaiting news from the youth academy. Action News Jax has also reached out to the academy to find out about Warren’s employment status and story. We are waiting for an answer.
The teenager’s mother says she is disappointed with the whole situation. “These kids are trying to do better for themselves and for someone working there to turn around and do something to them, it just doesn’t make sense,” she said.
Records show Warren was released from prison on Friday.
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