Man accused of running down EMT pleads not guilty

The man accused of stealing an ambulance and fatally running down an FDNY emergency medical technician pleaded not guilty Wednesday.



Jose Gonzalez, 25, is facing murder, manslaughter and robbery charges for allegedly killing Yadira Arroyo while attempting to take off in her ambulance in March.



Dozens of EMTs packed the courtroom Wednesday to show support for their fallen co-worker. Many of them were chanting her nickname 'Yari.'



The judge allowed news cameras inside the courtroom despite an objection by Gonzalez's attorney, who said that both she and her client had received death threats related to the case.



Several EMTs responded by arguing that the death threats come with the territory.



Authorities described Gonzalez as a serial criminal with a history of mental illness. Furthermore, the fatal ambulance encounter was not his first meeting with Arroyo, prosecutors said. She had treated and transported him three times in the past.



FDNY EMT union chief Israel Miranda said he and other union members will attend each of Gonzalez's court dates.



"This man needs to go to jail," Miranda said. "This man needs to get life in prison."



The judge ordered Gonzalez held without bail. His next court date is Aug. 25.


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