EMT Killed, Partner Injured after Man Hits Them with Stolen Ambulance

NY Post - March 17, 2017

by Larry Celona, Joe Marino and Tina Moore

An FDNY paramedic was run over and killed with her own ambulance in The Bronx Thursday — when a man who had been joyriding on the rear bumper commandeered the vehicle. EMT Yadira Arroyo, a mom of five, was crushed under the wheels after she and her partner tried to shoo the man off of the back of the ambulance on White Plains Road at about 7 p.m., according to law-enforcement sources.

“They were screaming. They were crying. Everyone was trying to help, said witness Virgilio German.

The violence began when a passing motorist alerted the EMTs that the man was riding on the bumper near Watson Avenue, officials said.

When Arroyo, 44, and her unidentified partner got out to confront him, he powered past them, hopped into the vehicle and started to drive off, the sources said.

Arroyo tried to stop him, clining to the side of the ambulance as the 25-year-old floored the gas pedal, backed into her and then dragged her eight to 10 feet, according to witnesses.

A video of the incident posted on social media shows what appears to be the vehicle rolling over ­Arroyo.

“I heard somebody crying and then I heard, ‘Boom!’ like an accident,” German said.

“There were two paramedics. They were down on the floor. She wasn’t moving.”

The video shows the ambulance veering wildly with the driver-side door wide open.

The thief got only a short distance in the ambulance before hitting a car and coming to a halt on Watson Avenue.

Arroyo’s female partner suffered some cuts and bruises in the incident.

The man, who has a criminal record, was apprehended by a passing MTA Officer Danny McCabe and a group of good Samaritans, police said.

A second video shows Arroyo motionless on the pavement after the arrest as a colleague — who may have been her partner — stood above her distraught.

“I just saw the woman laying on the floor and a woman on top of her crying,” said witness Christina Garcia.

The EMS colleague screamed in anguish before suddenly darting over to where the suspect was being held down. The colleague gave the suspect a kick before being pulled off him.

Arroyo was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, sources said.

Additional reporting by Gina ­Diadone and Joe Tacopino