By GINGER ADAMS OTIS and JOHN ANNESE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | MAR 16, 2021
FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo lived to help the people of New York up until her final moments four years ago, when police say a career criminal ran her down with her own ambulance.
On Tuesday, as Arroyo’s family still waits for the criminal justice system to bring her alleged killer to trial, her loved ones with gather on the Bronx streetcorner where she died for a moment of silence in her memory.
“We want the world to remember that she gave her life for her job,” her uncle, A.J. Hernandez told the Daily News Monday. “I know my niece and I know for sure that when she saw that man get behind the wheel of her ambulance, she said, ‘I gotta do something’ out of concern that somebody else would get hurt if she didn’t stop him.”
A vigil in her honor will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of White Plains Road and Watson Ave., with a moment of silence at 7:07 p.m. — a minute before her death.
The case against 29-year-old Jose Gonzalez, who’s charged with her murder, has dragged for years, with the court holding hearing after hearing to determine if he’s mentally fit to stand trial.
And the coronavirus pandemic has caused further problems. The lockdown delayed an examination by an expert from the Bronx D.A.’s office, and prosecutors are awaiting that expert’s report, officials said. Gonzalez’s next appearance in Bronx Supreme Court is slated for March 23.
“We continue to work for justice for Yadira Arroyo and her family,” D.A. Darcel Clark told The News Monday.
Gonzalez was allegedly high when he jumped on Arroyo’s rear bumper in Soundview on March 16, 2017. The 44-year-old mother of five boys stepped out of the ambulance to investigate, and Gonzalez jumped behind the wheel and took off.
He ran her over twice and dragged her into the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Ave., prosecutors said.
“Sadly, we’re going to mark the fourth anniversary of her death waiting for the court system to provide some justice for her injustice,” Hernandez said.