Former Pace nursing student charged with two felonies in Florida


Mugshot of Jeremy Correia from the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office arrest records. (Amine Kassaoui/ The Pace Chronicle)

Amine Kassaoui, Feature Editor

BOCA RATON, FL  – Jeremy Correia was slated to begin his studies in Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing this semester, but those plans went awry on Jan. 6, when Correia, 25, was arrested in Boca Raton, Florida on two felony charges. One being Grand Theft ($300- $5,000), and the second: Causing Cruel Death Pain and Suffering on an animal.

The first charge alone is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to up to five years in prison or five years of probation and a $5,000 fine. The animal cruelty charge is ranked at a level 3 under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code, with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

I reached out to the Boca Raton Police Department to discuss this matter. Jessica Desir, their Public Information Officer, said that BRPD declined the request for an interview in reference to this case; however, she did guide me to the Palm Beach Clerk website where I was able to retrieve the case information, including the probable cause affidavit, notice of hearing, court event form, cross reference list, arrest, and bond information.

On Thursday, Jan. 5 at 5:35 p.m., Boca Raton Police Officer Alonso Saavedra received a call from an unnamed woman who reported that Correia had just stolen her 10-year-old Yorkie poodle from her home.

The woman said that she and Correia had just been “intimate” with one another, after which he said he smelled blood, and suggested she go to the bathroom to check it out. This was a ruse to give himself just enough time to commit the alleged crime, as the female was not bleeding. When she returned from the bathroom, Correia and her dog were both gone.

Another policeman, Officer Forbes tracked down Correia’s mother’s information and responded to her home that same day, where Jeremy was found as well. After questioning, Correia denied all the allegations, and Forbes left the residence.

The woman was concerned for the dog’s safety if left unattended outside because the dog was half blind with no survival skills. Unfortunately, roughly 24 hours later, the woman received the horrific news that her beloved pet was found deceased on an access road, having apparently been run over by a vehicle. 

A third policeman, Officer Berryman, went back to Correia’s mother’s home on Jan. 6 to question Correia a second time. In an interaction recorded on bodycam footage, Correia confessed to stealing the dog because “he wanted his mom to have it.” Correia said he then got scared, and let the dog out of his car, not far from the female’s home.

Correia subsequently voluntarily agreed to talk to Officer Saavedra at police headquarters.

Once there, Correia reiterated that he wanted to steal the dog for his mom but was frightened and let the dog out the passenger side door. Facing eastbound, he made a U-turn, and felt a bump. He realized he “accidentally” ran the dog over and drove away.

At this point in the interrogation Officer Saavedra showed Correia a picture of the dead dog on the south side of the street. Correia’s story did not add up: if he had let the dog out the passenger side door, the body would have been discovered in the middle of the road and not on the south corner.

Upon this information, Correia amended his story, now claiming to have let the dog out the driver’s side door, after which he saw the dog running in front of the car. Correia claimed he then drove straight ahead and “accidentally” ran over the poodle. He stated this despite the fact that he had plenty of time to stop, according to Officer Saavedra’s affidavit notes.

At 9:56 p.m. on Jan. 6, Correia was officially placed under arrest and brought to BRPD processing where he was transported to the Palm Beach County jail. The following morning Correia with his mother in attendance, was charged with the two felony counts in front of presiding Judge Sara Alijewicz. Each count brought with it a $5,000 bond.

Judge Alijewicz conditionally released Correia after he posted bond, on the condition he have no contact with the female. Duvvuru Sannareddy acted as Correia’s public defender. Allegheny Mutual Casualty Company acted as the surety company for the bondsman, All County Bail Bonds, Inc.

Correia’s name appeared on the Pace registry as recently as Jan. 16 as an enrolled student, however, one week later by Jan. 23 his name was no longer present.

“I inquired about the student in question,” said Jerry McKinstry, the Interim Assistant VP, Public Affairs at the University, “And they are not currently enrolled at Pace for this semester.”

“It’s crazy to think that someone like that could be in class with me right now if he hadn’t been arrested,” said Ainsley Jaciow, a senior BSN nursing student at Pace. “It really makes you think about the people you surround yourself with, and your safety.

It’s super scary and really defies the type of presumption about nurses and nursing students being kindhearted patient people. It’s scary to see that that’s not always the case.”

Although a native of Margate, FL, Correia has been living and working in the northeast region since 2018. He graduated from Western Connecticut State with a Bachelor’s in Biology/Biological Sciences in 2021 and worked as a science tutor at Westchester Community College for all four years of his undergraduate studies, according to his LinkedIn page.

Correia’s next court date is scheduled for March 2 at 8:30 a.m. for an Initial Case Conference in which the judge and attorneys will discuss the issues involved in the case and decide whether to proceed with setting a trial date.