An FDNY EMT was killed in the line of duty Thursday evening when she was hit and dragged for at least 15 feet by her own ambulance, police say. Yadira Arroyo, a 44-year-old mother of five, and colleague Monique Williams were on their way to a call about a pregnant woman in the Bronx when bystanders flagged her down to alert her to a joyrider on the back of the vehicle, the AP reports. Witness Anis Nagi tells the New York Daily News that when Arroyo stopped and got out to investigate, the man went behind her, jumped inside the vehicle, and put it into reverse, knocking Arroyo down as she and Williams, who was in the passenger seat, tried to stop him.
"He reversed so hard and she was dragged," Nagi says. "He ran over her and she went under the wheels." After the ambulance crashed into a parked car, a passing Metropolitan Transportation Authority officer and other witnesses helped subdue the suspect, who was identified as Jose Gonzales, 25. Police restrained the sobbing Williams as she tried to kick Gonzales, the Daily News reports. She was taken to a hospital and treated for shock. Arroyo, a 14-year FDNY veteran, was "lost in the line of duty, bravely doing her job, encountering the kind of danger our EMTs should not have to confront," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. He praised those who helped capture the suspect, saying: "A lot of heroism was on display amidst a great tragedy."