A New Jersey nurse has died in a New York City hospital following a violent run-in with a thief who knocked her to the ground on Friday.
Police say 58-year-old Maria Ambrocio suffered serious head trauma after a robbery suspect pushed her over near Times Square.
Ambrocio, who lives and works in Bayonne, had been in Bellevue Hospital since Friday afternoon's assault. Police sources say her family took her off life support Saturday night.
"I’m asking for all Bayonne people to say a prayer for Maria Ambrocio. Maria, an Oncology nurse at Bayonne Medical Center, was viciously attacked in an unprovoked assault by a deranged man in Times Square yesterday," Mayor Jimmy Davis said Saturday.
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The Philippine Consulate has scheduled a memorial mass for 1:30 p.m. Monday at the St. Francis of Assisi Church on W. 31st Street. All members of the Filipino community have been encouraged to attend.
The CEO of CarePoint Health released a statement Sunday, calling Ambrocio a cherished member of the hospital's family where she worked as an oncology nurse for 25 years.
"Maria devoted her life to helping others, caring for patients, and serving the community. She was caring, compassionate and outgoing. She loved to take pictures and spend time with friends and family. At work, she was generous and always promoted teamwork and positivity," said Dr. Achintya Moulick.
"Maria always appreciated those she worked with and was grateful for the comradery and teamwork. Another nurse who worked with Maria remembered her focus on patients: “Spend less time complaining and more time working, we need to take care of the patients.” That is truly who Maria was, “patient care first” was her motto."
An NYPD spokesperson confirmed 26-year-old Jermaine Foster is in custody related to the robbery attempt that turned deadly.
According to police, the suspect stole a 29-year-old woman's phone near Broadway and W. 40th Street. It was while he was fleeing with the phone that he bumped into Ambrocio and knocked her to the ground.
The criminal charges against Foster were upgraded to second-degree murder. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.