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April 23, 2019

Psychological tests suggest man who stole ambulance in the Bronx, ran over and killed FDNY EMT may be unfit for trial

December 5, 2018
Jose Gonzalez, who ran over and killed EMT Yari Arroyo, is pictured in Bronx Supreme Court on Aug. 25. A Bronx Criminal Court judge ruled Tuesday that Gonzalez is unfit to stand trial (GREGG VIGLIOTTI for New York Daily News)

The legal wrangling over the fate of the man accused of killing an FDNY Emergency Medical Technician with her ambulance continued Wednesday as psychological tests suggested he is unfit to stand trial.

Judge April Newbauer was about to make a decision about Jose Gonzalez’s case based on new test results from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which found him unable to help with his defense.

But Bronx prosecutors convinced Newbauer to allow additional tests. A final determination on Gonzalez’s mental competency will be made on Dec. 20.

A psychiatrist for the Bronx District Attorney’s office previously found him fit to stand trial.

Gonzalez is accused of stealing EMT Yadira Arroyo’s ambulance and mowing the 44-year-old mother of five down with it in Soundview on March 16, 2017.

He didn’t show up in court and when prosecutor inquired as to why, the court clerk yelled out, “Because he didn’t want to be.”

About 20 members of FDNY EMS filled the courtroom..

Carl Gandolfo, recording secretary for Uniformed EMT’s, Paramedics, and Inspectors union, urged his colleagues to keep showing up at hearings in solidarity with Arroyo’s family.

“It could have been anyone of us out there,” he said. “Continue to hang in there and continue to have faith in the process”.

Gonzalez, an alleged gang member, has a history of narcotics abuse and mental illness. He told police he was high on drugs when he jumped on the rear bumper of Arroyo’s ambulance, according to court papers.

As Arroyo got out of the rig, Gonzalez got behind the wheel and peeled off, running over the EMT twice and dragging her into the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Ave. while her partner tried to stop him, prosecutors said.

Arroyo was working overtime when she was killed.

Known as the “Matriarch of Station 26,” Arroyo was a 14-year FDNY veteran. The stretch of Boston Road in front of her Morrisania station was named after her on June 15.

With Thomas Tracy

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