Fallen FDNY EMT Remembered As 'Tough,' 'Dedicated,' And 'Matriarch Of Station'

An FDNY medic was run over and killed with her own ambulance in the Bronx on Thursday when a man who had been joyriding on the rear bumper commandeered the vehicle. All but the youngest of Arroyo's children, who range in age from 7 to 24, were able to say goodbye to her, her sister-in-law Monica Salazar told the New York Post.

Every dollar donated will go directly to her kids through the FDNY Foundation, especially the youngest child and her 16-year-old son, who lost their loving matriarch and sole financial provider, Gertler said. It showed the ambulance speeding across an intersection with one of its doors open, its lights flashing and Arroyo's body being dragged beneath the vehicle. She was later taken to the hospital with minor injuries. They were in the process of responding to a call. They do crucial work, they save lives. At that moment, a transit police officer who was driving by stopped his auto and apprehended the suspect with the help of passersby who also were in the area, Wilcox said.

As the EMT who had been a passenger fought the carjacker for control and the EMT who had been driving tried to pull him out, the suspect put the ambulance in reverse and then in drive, NYPD Deputy Chief Jason Wilcox of the Bronx detectives said at a Thursday night news conference at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

On Twitter late Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said "tonight's tragedy in the Bronx is awful". At that point, he stopped the ambulance and tried to flee on foot, police say.

Fox5 said the EMT who died is a mother of five.

Jose Gonzalez, 25, was arraigned on charges of murder, manslaughter and robbery Friday afternoon. "I'm innocent. I didn't do nothing", Gonzalez said as he was escorted out of a police station, surrounded by angry, uniformed emergency medical technicians hurling insults. He told NBC 4 NY he lived with his mother and his uncle in Arroyo's apartment on Creston Avenue; Montes said his siblings range in age from 7 to 23.

He then drove over Arroyo and continued to drive until he struck two parked cars and came to a rest.

"A lot of heroism was on display today amidst a real tragedy", Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"It's a sad night. for everyone in the department", the fire commissioner said.

  • Jon Douglas