Cancer nurse dies after being left brain dead by mugger who threw her to the ground in Times Square as she prepared to see her family for first time since pandemic began
- Maria Ambrocio, 58, was walking through Times Square Friday afternoon when she was bowled over by a suspected robber
- Jermaine Foster, 26, allegedly took a 29-year-old woman’s phone at nearby West 41st Street and Broadway
- As Foster fled, he knocked down Ambrocio, who suffered head trauma and was taken to nearby Bellevue Hospital in critical condition
- Ambrocio’s younger brother, Carlito Spa Maria, said that ‘she doesn’t have much time,’ her blood pressure is dropping and is ‘brain dead’
A New Jersey nurse who worked with cancer patients has died after being sent crashing into the sidewalk by a fleeing homeless man suspected in two robberies within two hours near Times Square in the crime-riddled city.
Maria Ambrocio, 58, an oncology nurse from Bayonne who has was preparing to see her family for the first time since the pandemic began, was confirmed dead Saturday night after fighting for her life at Bellevue Hospital.
‘They just pulled the plug on her. She’s gone,’ Maria Ambrocio’s brother Carlito Spa Maria said.
Carlito had previously said that Maria ‘doesn’t have much time,’ her blood pressure is dropping and she is ‘brain dead.’
The senseless tragedy comes as the city’s crime rate continues to soar, with many blaming the violence on a court system that has gone soft on criminals.
A New Jersey nurse who works with cancer patients is fighting for her life after being sent crashing into the sidewalk by a fleeing homeless man suspected in two robberies within two hours near Times Square in the crime-riddled city
Maria Ambrocio, 58, was walking through Times Square Friday afternoon. She had just been to the Phillippines Consulate in Midtown Manhattan and was headed home after lunch
Jermaine Foster (pictured) bowled her over while allegedly fleeing the scene of a crime
Ambrocio was making her way through the Crossroads of the World after stopping at the Philippines Consulate in Midtown when Jermaine Foster bowled her over while allegedly fleeing the scene of a crime.
Foster, 26, swiped a 29-year-old woman’s phone at nearby West 41st Street and Broadway, police said. As Foster fled, he knocked down Ambrocio, who suffered head trauma, according to the New York Post.
A nurse who worked with Ambrocio, 70-year-old Emilia Cruz, said she was walking with her as Foster knocked her down.
‘There were lots of people and we were trying to maneuver,’ Cruz said. ‘I heard a big thump like something hit the concrete and, you know, it was loud so I said ‘Wow, oh My God. What’s that?’ and I looked down and I saw her blouse, I didn’t see the face and I said, ‘Oh my God, Ning,’ I call her Ning,’ Cruz said.
‘I said ‘Ning, what happened? Wake up,’ and she was out,’ she added. ‘She was already unconscious. She is not answering me. I keep picking her up. She was frothing from her mouth. And I said, ‘Call 911.’
Cruz said Ambrocio was married and had step-children and loved music, traveling and most of all, helping people.
“She is like a sister to me, a younger sister. She’s a good nurse, an excellent nurse,” Cruz noted.
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis asked residents to pray for Ambrocio in a Facebook post earlier Saturday, calling her attack ‘an unprovoked assault by a deranged man.’
The homeless man had committed another crime an hour and a half earlier when he forced himself into a woman’s apartment on Sixth Avenue and 38th Street, police said.
Ambrocio is an oncology nurse from Bayonne, New Jersey who family members say hadn’t seen her relatives throughout the entirety of the pandemic
Emilia Cruz (pictured center), who was standing alongside Ambrocio when she was knocked down, said she was an ‘excellent nurse’ and like a younger sister to her
Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis asked residents to pray for Ambrocio earlier on Saturday, calling her attack ‘an unprovoked assault by a deranged person’
Cruz, visibly upset by the loss of her friend, said Ambrocio was married and had step-children and loved music, traveling and most of all, helping people
The victim claims she heard someone ringing all of the buzzers at the front door to try and enter the building. She thought it was a delivery person bringing food and let him in.
‘He busted my door open. He rushed into the apartment,’ she said. ‘He basically was demanding money, like ‘Where’s the money? Where’s the money?’
Foster started to break things in the victim’s apartment, before sitting on the couch without saying a word.
She then grabbed Foster’s phone, which agitated him.
‘He started screaming ‘I’m an African prince! I’m an African prince!’ ‘ she said.
The woman, who is in her 30s, tried to keep Foster until authorities showed up to the apartment but he ran away.
‘Honestly speaking, I knew he was on something so I didn’t want to do too much to trigger him,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know what he had on him, if he had a weapon.’
Foster was finally taken into custody by police about a block away from where he crashed into Ambrocio and charged with felony assault and robbery.
Ambrocio’s cousin said it was hard to understand why he was even able to run around the city to begin with.
‘Crime has been rampant in the city. If they are mentally ill, why are they on the streets? They should be taken care of,’ she said.
There have been 15,787 felony assaults like the one Foster is charged with to date in New York City 2021, up seven percent from this time last year and up 28 percent going back to 2010.
Hate crimes are up 99 percent year-to-date, while sex crimes are up as much as 25 percent and grand larceny auto is up 14 percent.
There have also been shots taken at the court system. A state law last year limited the number of crimes for which judges can impose bail, which critics say has led to a sharp increase in transit crimes.
Anthonia Egegbara, 29, of Queens, was charged with attempted murder on Tuesday, over surveillance footage which showed her shoving an innocent woman towards the tracks as a train hurtled into Times Square station.
The unprovoked attack comes just three months after Egegbara, who has schizophrenia, was released without bail following an alleged assault on July 5 which left a 40-year-old woman suffering a black eye, broken nose and a knocked-out tooth.
Horrifying surveillance video shows the moment when Anthonia Egegbara allegedly pushed a fellow commuter into a train at the Times Square subway station on Monday morning
Vidal Javier told Telemundo that he felt ‘helplessness’ when he saw the video of his daughter Lenny, 42 (pictured with her father) being pushed into a subway in Times Square on Monday
Egegbara and Foster were arrested as a crime wave terrorizes New Yorkers, with transit crimes rising by 169 per cent for the week ending October 3, compared to the same period in 2020.
Times Square hasn’t avoided the crime wave, as there’ve been three incidents of gun violence at the crossroads of the world in 2021. A man shot himself in the leg in Times Square subway station Monday in the latest shooting to hit the global tourist hot spot this year.
In May, three unrelated bystanders were hit by stray bullets in the busy tourist hub after police say a man started shooting indiscriminately during an argument with someone else.
A young girl was struck in the leg, a 24-year-old woman was hit in her thigh and a 44-year-old woman was shot in the foot, police said. All are expected to survive.
Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, was charged with attempted murder and multiple counts of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal use of a firearm, the New York Police Department said.
Farrakhan Muhammad, 31, was charged with attempted murder and multiple counts of assault, reckless endangerment and criminal use of a firearm in connection with a May shooting in Times Square
In July, 16-year-old Avon Darden turned himself in and was charged with attempted murder after shooting US Marine Samuel Poulin, 21, in the back.
Poulin was hit in the back by a ricocheting bullet as he walked with his family near the Marriott Hotel on W. 45th St. around 5:.15pm on June 27. The young Marine was hospitalized after the shooting but was not seriously injured.
Because of his age, Darden was charged as a minor with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said in a news release.
Avon Darden, 16, handed himself over to cops at the Midtown South Precinct station house on Wednesday a whopping ten days after the shooting. He is pictured in surveillance footage while cops searched for him
Times Square, one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, sees an estimated 50 million visitors annually. About 330,000 people pass through it daily.
A total of 48 transit crimes were recorded for the period between September 27 and October 3, compared to just 22 for the same period last year.
Transit crimes rose 59 percent in the month of September, with 184 recorded so far this year, compared to 116 recorded last year. That’s despite weekday subway ridership levels that remain just half of what they were before the pandemic struck.
The statistics are sure to make grim reading for New York City officials, who are pushing for workers to return to the office, and for tourists to return to the Big Apple, in a bid to boost its COVID-ravaged finances.
Felony assault, rape and shootings were all up through October 3 compared to last year
A map showing the New York City boroughs where crime has increased (in red) and decreased (in green) in September 2021 compared to the same month last year
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