A career criminal is the “joyrider” accused of running over an EMT with her own ambulance in New York.
Jose Gonzalez, 25, was charged with commandeering an ambulance in the Bronx and killing paramedic Yadira “Yari” Arroyo, a 44-year-old mother of five.
Gonalez – allegedly a gang member named “Breezy Blood” -has a lengthy arrest history and was met with hurled insults by Arroyo’s fellow EMTs as police walked him out of a local precinct on March 17.
Shocking video from the scene showed Arroyo’s crumpled body lying in the street as passersby stopped to gape. (Be aware that the previous link contains graphic and disturbing video.)
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Suspect Is Accused of Carjacking the Ambulance After Riding on Its Bumper
According to NBC New York, the two emergency medical technicians for the New York Fire Department – Arroyo and another woman – were told the man was riding “on the back bumper of their ambulance in the Bronx at around 7 p.m.” as they headed to a call.
It’s now believed that Gonzalez allegedly flagged down the ambulance first.
The New York Daily News obtained video allegedly showing him riding on the back of the ambulance.
The EMTs got out and approached the man, who jumped into the ambulance and ran over Arroyo, the driver of the ambulance, reported NBC.
The other EMT was also injured but is expected to survive. ABC 7 reports that Gonzalez was charged with “murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.”
According to ABC 7, police said Arroyo “got out of the ambulance along with her partner. Then, the suspect apparently got into the driver’s seat and started to drive away. The two EMTs tried to stop him…The suspect put the ambulance in reverse, knocking Arroyo to the ground, then drove over her.”
2. Arroyo’s Fellow EMTs Hurled Insults at the Suspect
According to The New York Post, Gonzalez was met by a group of EMTs who hurled insults at him during a perp walk on March 17.
Gonzalez “appeared battered and bruised as he was led away by detectives while dozens of EMTs hurled insults at the sneering, long-haired man before dawn at the 43rd Precinct,” the Post reported.
The New York Daily News reported that 35 uniformed EMTS were waiting, and one yelled, “You’re a piece of s–t.”
Arroyo’s fellow EMTS also showed up in court for Gonzalez’ first court appearance on March 17.
In addition to being an EMT herself, Arroyo was engaged to an EMT and two of her sons had intentions to be paramedics, according to The New York Post.
3. Horrific Videos Showed the Ambulance Dragging Arroyo & Her Body Lying in the Street
Videos shared by citizens to social media were horrifying. One, posted to Twitter and then YouTube, shows her crumpled body in the street as citizens make phone calls and try to figure out what’s happened. Arroyo’s partner’s screams pierce the videos.
The video below shows the scene without the graphic nature of the body but is still disturbing because of the partner’s screams.
Another video 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,” according to NBC.
4. The Suspect Denies Killing Arroyo & Has a Lengthy Rap Sheet
According to the New York Post, the suspect claimed he was innocent as authorities walked him out of a precinct. The Daily News alleges Gonzalez is a Bloods gang member.
“Gonzalez has an extensive rap sheet with arrests dating back to 2008, including for assault, criminal mischief, marijuana sale and possession, turnstile jumping and public lewdness,’ the Post reported. The New York Daily News reports that Gonzalez has 31 arrests on his rap sheet.
Arroyo had worked as a New York paramedic for 14 years.
5. Arroyo’s Family Expressed Grief Over her Loss on Social Media
Arroyo’s brother wrote on social media, “She was my only sister… I may not have been raised with her, but I loved her like If we did… why God.. she was a good person.. RIP Yari Arroyo I will always love you…”
A cousin wrote on Facebook, “A member of our family has just been killed; Yari Arroyo was an EMT working in NYC and was run over by the man she was trying to help, when he stole the ambulance and run over both EMTs Killing my Cousin!”
What can be viewed on Arroyo’s public Facebook page reveals a positive personality. Her top post, changing her cover photo last August, bore the message, “always be positive” with a smiley face.
The page says she lives in the Bronx and was from New York. She also posted about home decorating and cleaning.
According to The New York Post, an officer saw the tragedy occur and “apprehended the driver.”
The suspect “crushed” the medic by putting the ambulance into reverse and driving into her, reported the newspaper. The other EMT involved, Monique Williams, survived the attack.