Man found guilty of killing emergency technician when he hijacked her ambulance

Man convicted of running over EMT in her own ambulance Gonzalez is accused of killing 14-year FDNY veteran Yadira Arroyo when he hijacked her ambulance as she was working on March 16, 2017
Jose Gonzalez was found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of FDNY ambulance driver Yadira Arroyo (Picture: NBC 4)

A man was convicted of killing a New York City emergency medical technician by running her over with her own ambulance.

Jose Gonzalez, 31, was found guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Yadira Arroyo, a 41-year-old mother of four and a 14-year veteran of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).

The incident in March 2017 began when Gonzalez jumped on and rode the rear bumper of Arroyo’s ambulance, which was responding to a call in the Bronx.

Arroyo and her partner stopped on the side of the road to investigate the stowaway. The EMT spoke to Gonzalez briefly before he leaped into the driver’s seat.

Man convicted of running over EMT in her own ambulance
Yadira Arroyo was a 14-year veteran of the FDNY and the mother of four children (Picture: AP)

Gonzalez put the vehicle in reverse, striking Arroyo. He then drove the ambulance forward, pinning Arroyo between the vehicle and the grown.

Gonzalez drove the ambulance through a nearby intersection, dragging Arroyo on the street. He eventually crashed the vehicle into a nearby snowbank.

Gonzalez tried to run away after the crash, but an off-duty Metropolitan Transit Authority police officer happened to see the whole scene. The off-duty cop tackled Gonzalez and handcuffed him with the help of other nearby Good Samaritans.

Man convicted of running over EMT in her own ambulance
Gonzalez eventually crashed Arroyo’s ambulance into a snowbank (Picture: AP)

Arroyo was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where she was pronounced dead.

Attorneys for Gonzalez never denied his guilt, but instead argued that he was unfit to stand trial due to mental illness. The defendant was confined to a psychiatric facility until May 2022.

‘The road to justice for Yadi was tortuous; this case was delayed because of numerous hearings regarding the defendant’s fitness to stand trial, but her family and FDNY colleagues were patient and steadfast from the beginning until today’s verdict,’ Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said.

FILE ??? In this photo provided by the New York City Mayor's Office, pallbearers from the New York City Fire Department carry the casket of fallen FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo into St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, in the Bronx borough of New York, March 25, 2017. The 14-year veteran of the New York Fire Department and a mother of five sons, was killed March 16, 2017, when she tried to stop a man stealing her ambulance and was pulled under the vehicle's wheels. (Michael Appleton/New York City Mayor's Office via AP, File)
FDNY firefighters carry Yadira Arroyo’s casket into St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in the Bronx (Picture: AP)

‘We are glad Justice has been served and this criminal will be spending a very long time behind bars for killing a hero,’ the FDNY Uniformed Firefighter’s Association said in a statement posted on Twitter.

‘Yadi lives on in the legacy of her children, and in the countless New Yorkers she assisted in their time of need,’ DA Darcel said.

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