Tears Flow for Fallen EMT as Gang Member is Charged
by David Greene
Hundreds of firefighters and paramedics from across the state joined community residents as well as local civic and clergy leaders in mourning the death of the young civil servant and mother of five, who was struck and killed during the attempted carjacking of her ambulance.
Mourners stood with the family of fallen FDNY Emergency Medical Technician Yadaira Arroyo, 44, at the emergency call box at the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Avenue, where she was fatally struck by her own ambulance, at just after 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 16.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who did not attend the vigil, had said of Arroyo’s death, “We’re mourning a hero. We’re with her family, celebrate her life, we will mourn her death… as this department has done for 152 years.”
During the candlelight vigil held on Sunday, March 19, an EMS safety helmet was placed atop of the red fire alarm box and flowers and candles were placed on the ground, in a tribute to the 14 year veteran of the FDNY.
A second candlelight vigil for Arroyo was to be held on Tuesday, March 21, at EMS Station # 26, located at 1264 Boston Road, at the corner of East 169 Street.
A wake for Arroyo will be held at the Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home on Morris Park Avenue on March 23 and 24. A funeral mass will be held at St. Nicholas of Tolentine R.C. Church on University Avenue on Saturday, March 21, followed by her burial at St. Raymond’s Cemetery.
Ironically, Jose Gonzalez, 25, a “known member of the Bloods” gang with 31 prior arrests, lived at a homeless shelter that’s on the same Walton Avenue street as the Arroyo family.
Gonzalez was arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of first and second-degree murder as well as manslaughter and robbery charges. Gonzalez remains held without bail.