Paramedic accused of using dead man’s debit card
Santa Fe, N.M. — A New Mexico paramedic stole a debit card from a man getting treatment and used it to spend more than $11,000 after the patient died, authorities said.
Police arrested Michael John Harcharik this week after Allan Pearson’s daughter noticed multiple transactions on her father’s account, including cash withdrawals and purchases of a riding lawn mower, boots, dog food and car parts.
Police believe Harcharik stole the card when paramedics went to Pearson’s Santa Fe home after he was found unresponsive March 25. Rebecca Pearson said she had written her father’s PIN code on his debit card.
Harcharik was arrested Monday on suspicion of theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. He was released from jail Tuesday.
Joseph Walsh, an attorney who represented Harcharik during an initial court appearance, declined to comment on the allegations when reached Wednesday.
A call to a phone number listed under Harcharik’s name was not immediately returned.
Police began investigating Friday when Rebecca Pearson went to close her father’s bank account and discovered that his debit card had been used multiple times after his death.
“He was just having the time of his life, it looked like,” she said of Harcharik. “He took over half of what was in there, and he would’ve taken it all, obviously, had they not frozen the account on Friday morning.”
Pearson said her father died from complications from diabetes.
City spokesman Matt Ross said Harcharik remains an employee during the investigation but would have no interaction with the public while on “alternate duty.”
A Santa Fe native, Harcharik joined the fire department in 2009 after working at the Santa Fe County jail.