The New Jersey woman who was beaten down by an insane homeless assailant in Times Square is a cancer nurse whose anxious family expected to be reunited with her after a two-year pandemic – but instead hurried to her bed on Saturday when she held on life.
Maria Ambrocio, 58, walked through Times Square around 6 p.m. 13.30 on Friday after accompanying a friend to the Philippine consulate in the city center and eating lunch before she went home, her cousin told The Post.
It was at the same time that police say Jermaine Foster allegedly went on a crime and took a cell phone out of the hands of a 29-year-old woman on West 41st Street and Broadway and then slammed into Ambrocio as he fled. She was rushed to Bellevue with head trauma.
The cousin said she had not seen Ambrocio in almost two years due to the pandemic and the family was hoping for a happy reunion for the upcoming holiday.
“This is the first time we see her since COVID, and this is how we see her? It’s overwhelmingly sad, ”she said.
Ambricio’s husband was by her side when family members and friends came to Bellevue.
“Her friend told me to hurry because her blood pressure is falling and she is brain dead. She does not have much time, so I have to hurry, “said Ambrocio’s younger brother Carlito Spa Maria on Saturday when he arrived at the hospital.
The native of the Philippines, who lives in Bayonne, is an oncology nurse at Bayonne Medical Center who previously worked at Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.
A photo on Ambrocio’s Facebook page, published at the beginning of the pandemic, shows her in full protective gear with the caption “I can not stay home, I am a nurse.”
Her cousin said it was hard to understand what happened.
“Crime has been rampant in the city. If they are mentally ill, then why are they on the streets? They need to be taken care of, ”she said.
Foster, 26, who is homeless, was charged early Saturday morning with robbery and assault in connection with the incidents, police said.
His alleged terror period actually began 90 minutes earlier when Foster allegedly entered a woman’s apartment on Sixth Avenue and 38th Street, police said Saturday.
The victim, who did not want to be identified, told The Post that she heard someone ringing the buzzer to enter the building. When she thought it was a food supplier, she let the man in and opened the door to see who he was looking for.
“He opened my door. He hurried into the apartment, ”she said. “He basically demanded money, like ‘Where is the money? Where is the money? ‘”
She started screaming and asked neighbors to call 911. The woman who said she was petrified also called 911.
Foster started breaking things in the apartment and then sat bizarrely on her couch without saying a word.
The victim said she grabbed the insane intruder’s phone as evidence, but it only shook him.
“He started screaming ‘I’m an African prince! I’m an African prince! ‘ ” she said.
The brave victim, who is in her 30s, said she tried to keep Foster in her studio apartment until police arrived, but he ran away.
“Honestly, I knew he was doing something, so I would not do too much to trigger him,” she said. “I did not know what he was wearing if he had a weapon.”
The woman called it “heartbreaking” that Ambrocio might not have survived.
“I tried to keep him for as long as I could for the police,” she said, saying the meeting continued for 20 to 25 minutes. “This area, it’s a crisis in the city center right now with the homeless and the drugs. It is not being treated. ”
Foster was charged with robbery and burglary in connection with the burglary, police said.
He had not yet been charged by Saturday afternoon.