Slain Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo's Eldest Son Calls for Those Grappling with Sadness after Her Death

NY Daily News - March 19, 2017

by ESHA RAY, LARRY MCSHANE

The constant tears, the crippling despair: This was not what Yadira Arroyo would have wanted.

Her oldest son, speaking two days after Arroyo’s Bronx murder, urged his grieving family, his friends and his city to pull together Saturday in the wake of a tragedy that remained hard to accept.

“I know there’s a lot of sadness going on today,” said the 24-year-old Jose Montes at the Bronx EMT station where his mom once worked. “But I know my mother wouldn’t have wanted people to be sad. She would rather, if you can ... learn from this.

“Learn to hold your family closer every day, because life is short,” said Montes, his voice growing thick. “So if you feel sad, don’t be sad — be humbled. Because I know my mother is in a better place than any of us right now.”

The room roared in applause, with many of Arroyo’s friends and FDNY colleagues sobbing as the family left to handle the grim task of arranging their matriarch’s funeral.

A wake for Arroyo was set for Thursday and Friday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Lucchese Funeral Home, 726 Morris Park Ave. in the Bronx.

The Saturday funeral will be held at 11 a.m. in St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church at 2345 University Ave. in the Bronx, followed by burial at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the borough.

A candlelight vigil for Arroyo was also set for Tuesday at FDNY Battalion 26 in the Bronx.

Despite Montes’ inspired speech, the 44-year-old Arroyo’s family was struggling with her death beneath the wheels of her FDNY ambulance.

She was driving the vehicle when a violent, schizophrenic criminal jumped inside and tried to drive off — instead running her over twice.

Arroyo’s mother Leida Rosado, up from her Florida home, and the victim’s 7-year-old son, Isaiah, sobbed as they sat inside the EMT station where a poster of Yadira hung on a back wall.

Dozens of floral bouquets flanked the picture of Arroyo, a 14-year veteran. The station was festooned with black and purple mourning bunting.

Jose Gonzalez — whose rap sheet included 31 arrests — remained locked up Saturday on murder charges. Less than a month ago, the 25-year-old suspect kicked out a police van window after his arrest for trying to punch a cop in the Bronx, officials said.

The constant tears, the crippling despair: This was not what Yadira Arroyo would have wanted.

Her oldest son, speaking two days after Arroyo’s Bronx murder, urged his grieving family, his friends and his city to pull together Saturday in the wake of a tragedy that remained hard to accept.

“I know there’s a lot of sadness going on today,” said the 24-year-old Jose Montes at the Bronx EMT station where his mom once worked. “But I know my mother wouldn’t have wanted people to be sad. She would rather, if you can ... learn from this.

“Learn to hold your family closer every day, because life is short,” said Montes, his voice growing thick. “So if you feel sad, don’t be sad — be humbled. Because I know my mother is in a better place than any of us right now.”

St. Patrick’s Day Parade honors fallen NYPD cop, FDNY EMT in NYC Family members grieve for fallen EMT Yadira Arroyo. Family members grieve for fallen EMT Yadira Arroyo. (ANGUS MORDANT/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) The room roared in applause, with many of Arroyo’s friends and FDNY colleagues sobbing as the family left to handle the grim task of arranging their matriarch’s funeral.

A wake for Arroyo was set for Thursday and Friday from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Lucchese Funeral Home, 726 Morris Park Ave. in the Bronx.

The Saturday funeral will be held at 11 a.m. in St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church at 2345 University Ave. in the Bronx, followed by burial at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the borough.

You Know You're a Millennial if You Saw These Changes Coming PAID CONTENT BY DEVRY UNIVERSITY You Know You're a Millennial if You Saw These Changes Coming The Internet of Things (IoT) is booming, and the future of interconnectivity...

Slain FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo's body being escorted out of the Chief Medical Examiner office in Manhattan, New York, Saturday, March 18, 2017. Slain FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo's body being escorted out of the Chief Medical Examiner office in Manhattan, New York, Saturday, March 18, 2017. (SHAWN INGLIMA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) A candlelight vigil for Arroyo was also set for Tuesday at FDNY Battalion 26 in the Bronx.

Slain Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo was adored by friends, family Despite Montes’ inspired speech, the 44-year-old Arroyo’s family was struggling with her death beneath the wheels of her FDNY ambulance.

She was driving the vehicle when a violent, schizophrenic criminal jumped inside and tried to drive off — instead running her over twice.

Arroyo’s mother Leida Rosado, up from her Florida home, and the victim’s 7-year-old son, Isaiah, sobbed as they sat inside the EMT station where a poster of Yadira hung on a back wall.

Dozens of floral bouquets flanked the picture of Arroyo, a 14-year veteran. The station was festooned with black and purple mourning bunting.

Bronx EMT's killer is Bloods gang member with 31 prior arrests Jose Gonzalez — whose rap sheet included 31 arrests — remained locked up Saturday on murder charges. Less than a month ago, the 25-year-old suspect kicked out a police van window after his arrest for trying to punch a cop in the Bronx, officials said.

Leida Rosado collapsed weeping into the arms of a close family friend earlier Saturday morning as the family gathered at the apartment where Arroyo raised her kids.

“We’re hurt,” said Patricia Red, 50, a lifelong friend who consoled Rosado. “We’re all in shock. Nobody can say one bad thing about Yadi. Not one single thing.”

Leida traveled to the Bronx with husband Efrain from their Florida home. Efrain — who was Yadira’s stepfather and raised her as his own — was still trying to wrap his head around her murder.

“This never should have happened,” he said. “This never should have happened.”

Arroyo’s son Edgar hugged his uncle Joel Rosado, his face blank two days after his mother’s death.

“I don’t feel anything, honestly,” said Edgar. “I don’t know what to say.”

Red recalled how thrilled everyone was when the single mother of five sons landed her job with the FDNY.

“God gave her that job because her personality was that way,” Red said. “She would do anything for anybody if she could. She wanted a better life for her and her kids — and she did it on her own.”

Red, a friend of Arroyo since childhood, managed to take her son’s advice and thought about the good times.

“Yesterday, I was thinking about how we grew up together, the things we did together,” she said with a sigh. “Today, I’m just remembering her smile.”