THE BRONX — The man accused of stealing an ambulance then hitting and killing EMT Yadira Arroyo with it has been found not fit to stand trial, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office confirmed Wednesday.
Jose Gonzalez was declared unfit to stand trial on Monday, according to Bronx DA officials, who said their office has until Friday, April 13 to accept or challenge the decision. Further explanation as to why he was found unfit was not provided.
If the decision stands, Gonzalez may be hospitalized or institutionalized until he is found competent to stand trial. Legal experts speaking about a different case to the New York Times said that in rare instances, defendants may never be found competent and can be held indefinitely.
Gonzalez is accused of stealing an ambulance the night of March 16, 2017 and slamming it into Arroyo and her partner, Monique Williams.
The two EMTs were traveling on White Plains Road, nearing Watson Avenue, in the Bronx when officials said a driver flagged them down.
When they exited the ambulance, officials say Gonzalez jumped inside and put the vehicle in reverse, striking Arroyo and Williams and two occupied vehicles.
He then allegedly moved forward, dragging Arroyo into the intersection, before he turned onto Watson Avenue, hit two parked vehicles and came to a stop. An off-duty MTA officer then detained Gonzalez, officials said.
Arroyo, a 14-year veteran of FDNY EMS, died from her injuries. She is survived by five sons.
Gonzalez pleaded not guilty one year ago in a courtroom filled with Arroyo’s EMT family.
“This was our sister who helped people like that on a daily basis we’re disgusted and we want justice,” said EMT Louis Montalvo in front of the courthouse.
The president of the EMS union said Arroyo had, in the past, transported Gonzalez in the same vehicle he later used to kill her.