Speaking from the medical center Thursday night, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "An EMT was lost in the line of duty, bravely doing her job and encountering the kind of danger that our EMTs should not have to confront".
The second unidentified female paramedic was still in the passenger seat when the vehicle was being stolen. Around 7 p.m.at White Plains Road and Watson Avenue in the Morris Park section, an ambulance on White Plains Road was flagged down by a pedestrian, who told them a man was riding on the back bumper of the ambulance. "All the police came running and they put her in an ambulance". Arroyo was hit, knocked down and went under the wheels.
A passing police officer apprehended the suspect, aged 25, with the help of a bystander.
Police officers responding to the incident found Arroyo lying in the roadway unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to her body.
Friends and family members of Arroyo remembered her as a hard worker and devoted mother who was always willing to help a neighbor in need and was quick with a smile.
Arroyo's EMT partner, a 30-year-old woman, was transported to the hospital for injuries to her neck and shoulder.
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Part of that vision, according to her eldest son, Jose Montes, is to not lose hope.
Ernest Watson, 67, said he had known Arroyo since she was 12, and had watched her grow up from a bright young girl into a strong, dedicated mother of five boys who had raised her sons right.
A wake for Arroyo is scheduled over two days beginning Thursday.
"The tragic death of EMT Yadira Arroyo is anothe grim reminder of the dangers that first responders face every day to keep us safe", Answer the Call Board Chairman Stephen Dannhauser said in a statement.
New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro added, "No matter how many times we do this, it doesn't make it any easier".
Yadira Arroyo, 44, was run over by Jose Gonzalez who stole her ambulance while on drugs, police said. He was charged Thursday with murder. He is expected in court later Friday. Although there were no serious felonies on his record, there were 31 prior arrests - six of them calls for an EDP or emotionally disturbed person. Of the 10 that aren't sealed, charges include assault, criminal mischief, criminal possession of marijuana and sale of marijuana, they said.