A Bronx man accused of fatally hitting an EMT with her own ambulance in 2017 has been deemed fit to stand trial, in a reversal of a previous ruling, prosecutors said.
Health care professionals evaluating Jose Gonzalez at the state’s Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center in New Hampton found he was “no longer an incapacitated person,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement Wednesday.
Gonzalez, 31, was charged with offenses including first-degree murder after he allegedly ran EMT Yadira Arroyo over in the Bronx in March 2017, but a judge deemed him unfit to stand trial this past May, the DA’s office said.
What You Need To Know
- A Bronx man accused of fatally hitting an EMT with her own ambulance in 2017 has been deemed fit to stand trial, in a reversal of a previous ruling, prosecutors said
- Jose Gonzalez was charged with offenses including first-degree murder after he allegedly ran EMT Yadira Arroyo over in the Bronx in March 2017
- A judge initially deemed him unfit to stand trial this past May, the Bronx District Attorney's office said. The new medical ruling will see him appear in court on Sept. 29
The new medical ruling will see him appear in court on Sept. 29, the DA’s office added. His attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
“When Jose Gonzalez was deemed unfit for trial, we said this was by no means the end of this prosecution,” Clark said in her statement. “We thank her family and FDNY colleagues for their patience and support, as we continue to obtain justice for Yadi.”
Arroyo, a 14-year FDNY veteran, was driving an ambulance in the Bronx on March 16, 2017 when Gonzalez started riding on its bumper, prosecutors said.
As the ambulance neared an intersection in Soundview, Gonzalez jumped to the ground and grabbed a man’s backpack, and that man flagged Arroyo down for help, according to prosecutors.
When the EMT stepped out of the ambulance, Gonzalez commandeered the vehicle and reversed it, hitting Arroyo as she tried to stop him, the DA’s office said.
Gonzalez was under the influence of PCP and marijuana, according to prosecutors.
In a statement provided to NY1 in March 2017, his attorney at the time claimed he had a “severe mental illness,” adding that “nothing that happened was intentional.”
Arroyo’s family members and former colleagues, however, questioned whether that was the case.
“Many of us are there every time there is a court appearance. Our unions are fighting and holding everyone to fire,” FDNY EMS Lt. Miguel Flores said at a vigil Arroyo’s loved ones held for her in March 2021. “Justice needs to be served, and it’s not easy.”
In a statement released Wednesday, FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay, whose union represents EMTs, paramedics and fire inspectors, said members had “waited five long years for justice and thought all hope was lost because this man was playing the system.”
“Now there is light at the end of the tunnel and justice may be served for the killing of our sister, Yadira Arroyo,” Barzilay added.