Man charged with killing FDNY EMT found unfit for trial

Jose Gonzalez, who is accused of killing EMT Yadira Arroyo, could be spared prison time after a psychologist declared him unfit for trial


By Ginger Adams Otis and Laura Dimon
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The career criminal accused of killing an FDNY Emergency Medical Technician with her own ambulance could be spared prison, because a court appointed psychologist says he’s unfit for trial.

Jose Gonzalez, 25, is charged with murder, manslaughter and robbery for his deadly encounter with EMT Yadira Arroyo last year.

EMT Yadira Arroyo died after Jose Gonzalez allegedly ran over her with her own ambulance. (Photo/FDNY)
EMT Yadira Arroyo died after Jose Gonzalez allegedly ran over her with her own ambulance. (Photo/FDNY)

The Bronx District Attorney now has 10 days to either accept the doctor’s finding that Gonzalez is mentally unfit for trial or challenge the decision, a DA spokeswoman told the Daily News.

Gonzalez, an alleged gang member with a lengthy rap sheet, hijacked Arroyo’s FDNY ambulance in Soundview on March 16, 2017.

Cops said Gonzalez has a history of drug abuse and mental illness. He was allegedly high when he jumped on Arroyo’s rear bumper.

When the 44-year-old stepped out of the ambulance to investigate, Gonzalez jumped behind the wheel and took off.

He ran her over twice and dragged her into an intersection while her EMT partner tried desperately to stop him, prosecutors said.

In the weeks that followed, Gonzalez indulged in nonsensical rants to cops, claiming he’d give them $1 million each and a Maserati.

He smirked and winked at cameras while pleading not guilty to first-degree murder charges — in front of Arroyo’s grief-stricken co-workers.

Arroyo, a veteran EMT who had 14 years with the FDNY, was on overtime when she died.

She left behind five sons.

Many of her fellow EMTs and paramedics were at Bronx Criminal Court for Monday’s hearing.

Oren Barzilay, head of Arroyo’s EMS union, said his members were upset at the thought Gonzalez might not have to stand trial.

“While this hearing was a setback, we will continue our fight for justice for Yadira,” he said, adding that the DA’s medical team will review the recommendation about Gonzalez’ medical state before making a decision.

“Regardless of the findings, we will continue to show our support to Yadira and her family,” Barzilay said. 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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