BAYONNE, NJ (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey nurse critically injured after falling to the ground by the alleged mugger in Times Square died.
More than 24 hours after oncology nurse Maria Ambrocio was attacked in Times Square, she was taken from life support and died.
Her best friend Emilia Cruz was by her side, along with the family.
“It’s a horrible thing. I don’t know what to tell you,” he told CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon. “I can’t feel it now because he’s gone. He’s gone.”
Cruz could barely breathe.
“He is every friend that anyone wants to have. He is a very kind person. Very sincere, honest and loving,” she said.
Both are nurses at Bayonne Medical Center, Cruz and Ambrocio Times Square on Friday afternoon. Cruz said they had just finished lunch when a man plowed into Ambrocio outside a pizzeria.
Police said the man was chased after stealing someone else’s phone.
Ambrocio fell and broke his skull when his head hit the pavement.
“I hope he will be charged and, you know, justice should be done, so my friend’s life won’t be in vain,” Cruz said.
Police said the homeless man, 26-year-old Jermaine Foster, fled but was later caught and arrested. They also said Foster was involved in another burglary at a woman’s apartment shortly before the Times Square incident.
Sa Bayonne, where Ambrocio worked as a nurse for more than two decades, Mayor Jimmy Davis said he was his friend during the pandemic, even though he was seen only a week ago. He said he has always been amazed at his commitment to his patients, the addition of his demise has left a permanent hole in the community.
“She is a sweetheart. He was a loving man, someone who cared. All he wanted to do was help. Even during the pandemic, he worked overtime. He did everything he had to do for the people of the city of Bayonne, ”Davis said.
Ambrocio’s friends told us he was married and had step children. A loyal member of his church and the Filipino community, they added in addition to helping people, he loves music and travel.
“She was like a brother to me, a younger sister. She is a good nurse, a good nurse, ”Cruz said.
They said they will remember their friend for giving heart and endless devotion in helping others.
Foster faces multiple charges, including burglary, assault and robbery.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.