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Massive Crowd Turns Out to Mourn Slain EMT Yadira Arroyo at Funeral

By Eddie Small | March 25, 2017 4:45pm | Updated on March 27, 2017 7:54am
 The funeral for slain EMT Yadira Arroyo took place on Saturday at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church.
Yadira Arroyo Funeral
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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS — Slain EMT Yadira Arroyo was hailed as a hero and a teacher who represented the best of New York City at a packed funeral on Saturday.

The ceremony took place at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in University Heights, following a two-day wake on Thursday and Friday at the John A. Lucchese Funeral Home.

Her son Jose Montes delivered one of four eulogies during the roughly two-hour service, in which he praised her as the only person who truly understood him and as the person who taught him how to be happy regardless of what other people think.

"She didn't spoil me or my brothers," he said ."She gave us exactly what we needed."

The other eulogies were delivered by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and Arroyo's aunt Ali Acevedo-Hernandez, who read on behalf of Arroyo's mother Laida Acevedo-Rosado.

"My daughter chose not to look the other way but rather to be involved in life and to enrich the lives of others," Acevedo-Hernandez said. "She chose to stay out and help someone in need. She chose to take action."

The mayor and Nigro both stressed that Arroyo was a hero, with de Blasio describing her as someone who represented "the best of New York City" and Nigro saying she was "the perfect person to bring the help that was needed."

Arroyo was killed on March 16 after Jose Gonzalez stole her ambulance by Watson Avenue and White Plains Road in The Bronx and backed over her with it, according to prosecutors.

He has been charged with murder in her death and was due in court on Wednesday but declined to appear. He is being held without bail at Bellevue Hospital.

Gonzalez has had 25 cases with the Bronx District Attorney's Office and was arrested for a robbery just weeks before Arroyo's death. He was released without bail in the case.

Arroyo is survived by several family members, including five sons, one of whom is already planning to follow in her footsteps by studying to become an EMT, according to the FDNY.

She worked out of Station 26 in Morrisania, and her supervisor, Captain Joseph Jefferson, said that her passing meant the station had lost "a rock."

"Having her out there, we were confident that the right thing was going to be done every single time," he said. "She loved what she did. She was an amazing woman."