MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Calling her “compassionate” and a “kind soul,” friends and relatives gathered at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Midtown on Monday to pay their final respects to nurse Maria Ambrocio.
Ambrocio, who worked at Bayonne Medical Center, died on Saturday after she was knocked to the ground by an alleged mugger in Times Square, officials said.
Jermaine Foster, 26, allegedly snatched a woman’s phone on Friday on Broadway, then pushed Ambrocio, 58, as he ran away.
Ambrocio fell to the ground and hit her head on the pavement, police said. She was taken to the hospital and succumbed to her traumatic brain injuries a day later.
Calling her by her nickname “Ning Ning,” the tight-knit group of Filipino nurses who worked with Ambrocio talked on Monday about how they would frequently visit New York City to go to dinner, see a show or go sightseeing.
“She just loved taking photos and would always post right afterward,” one friend said. “She always wanted to share her experiences.”
Many in her circle say Ambrocio would frequently come to the Big Apple: embracing the culture, bright lights and excitement. Their group trips, tragically, have been tainted with the profound loss.
“Like today I picked them up and I thought I saw her coming around the car to get in the car,” a tearful Mimi Escudero told PIX11. “It’s really hard and I feel guilty.”
Foster, who is being held without bail, has been charged with second-degree murder. He’s expected in court on Thursday