Nearly six-years to the day after Yadira Arroyo was fatally struck by her own ambulance in the Bronx, the man who got behind the wheel of the vehicle and ran her over was convicted of first degree murder on Wednesday.
After a nearly month-long jury trial before the Bronx Supreme Court, 31-year-old Jose Gonzalez from the Fordham neighborhood in Bronx was found guilty of killing the 14-year veteran FDNY EMT.
“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 D. Clark said in a statement Wednesday.
According to the Bronx District Attorney’s office, an investigation found that on the evening of March 16, 2017, Gonzalez grabbed the back of Arroyo’s ambulance and rode it, then jumped off and stole a backpack from a young man who flagged down Arroyo’s ambulance. When she got out to speak to the robbery victim, Gonzalez got into the driver’s seat of the ambulance, and put the vehicle in reverse, hitting Arroyo, the Bronx DA said.
He then drove forward, pinning Arroyo, 44, under the vehicle and dragging her across the intersection, before crashing into a snowbank and exiting the ambulance.
An off-duty MTA police officer who witnessed the incident confronted Gonzalez, tackled him and put him in handcuffs. Arroyo was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, 2023 and could face life in prison. His attorney information was not immediately available.