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.
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.
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.
‘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.