An EMT in New York was out doing her job when a man attempted to steal the emergency vehicle; running over and killing her as he drove away.
On Thursday night, Yadira Arroyo, 44, a mother of five, and a colleague were doing their job in the Bronx when they were alerted that a man had jumped on the back bumper of their vehicle, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“So, they stopped the ambulance, they got out to see what was happening. This person, in turn, went around the other side of the ambulance and got into the driver’s side,” Nigro said.
The man threw the vehicle into reverse and hit Arroyo who then fell and got stuck beneath the wheels, according to fire officials.
“They were acting very bravely. They certainly wanted to continue on their way to the call. This person had no business being in this ambulance,” Nigro said.
CBS News reported:
Video posted on Twitter by a bystander shows the ambulance speeding across an intersection with one of its doors open, its lights flashing and the body of one of the EMTs being dragged beneath the vehicle.
The ambulance then crashed into several parked cars and got stuck on a snowbank. A passing Metropolitan Transportation Authority K-9 officer subdued the 25-year-old suspect with the help of a bystander.
The other EMT was in the passenger seat of the ambulance as it was being stolen. She was being treated at a Bronx hospital for minor injuries, police said.
Police identified the suspect as Jose Gonzales and charged him with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs, reports CBS New York.
Arroyo was a 14-year fire department veteran.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the tragedy at the hospital: “I want to thank those good Samaritans who helped apprehend the perpetrator.” He added, “A lot of heroism was on display amidst a great tragedy.”
“We know our EMTs are brave. They do crucial work – they save lives – but they should not ever have to be subjected to violence. And yet, that danger always exists for them,” de Blasio said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote on Twitter Thursday: “EMTs are heroes who help countless New Yorkers every day. Tonight’s tragedy in the Bronx is horrible. My deepest sympathies to the family.”
The alleged perpetrator has a history of run ins with the law, including 10 arrests for misdemeanors, CBS News New York reported. He will appear before a judge on Friday.