Family and friends of the New Jersey nurse who was beaten down by a theft in Times Square on Friday struggled to come to terms with the disturbing incident and its tragic aftermath when she was taken by life support.
“They just pulled the plug on her. She is gone, ”Carlito Spa Maria told The Post to her sister Maria Ambrocio, who suffered head injuries in the violent incident.
“I saw them pull the plug. I held her hand until the very last pulse, ”he said at about 20.30
“They knew it was not looking good, so I said goodbye to her last night a couple of times. I said to her, ‘You want to be with our mom and dad.’ “
Carlito said their father died of COVID-19 in the Philippines in April. He said he and Maria were waiting for the coronavirus crisis to calm down to travel there and bury him on the family grounds.
“We were going home and giving my father a proper funeral, and now she’s gone. Now I have to do it. ”
Emilia Cruz, 70, worked with victim Ambrocio, 58, at Bayonne Medical Center, and was with her Friday afternoon in Times Square.
The incident that killed her happened around 6 p.m. 13.30, when Ambrocio and Cruz were walking up Broadway just past West 41st Street with Cruz’s brother and another friend after running some errands and eating lunch, Cruz told The Post.
“There were lots of people and we tried to maneuver,” Cruz said, adding that she saw the suspect being chased.
“I heard a big thump like something hitting the concrete and you know it was loud so I said,‘ Wow, oh my God. What is it?’ and I looked down and I saw her blouse, I did not see the face and I said, ‘Oh god, Ning,’ I call her Ning. I said ‘Ning, what happened? Wake up and she was out.
“She was already unconscious. She does not answer me. I keep picking her up. She frothed from her mouth. And I said, ‘Call 911.’
“I do not know if I cried… was all emotions. I’m in shock if you ask me. ”
A spectator came over and tried to help, and another person said they had already called rescue workers, according to the shattered friend.
Maria was flat on her back. She did not bleed at all. Her eyes were closed, “said the emotional woman.
“I can not describe the feeling because everyone is different, but when it’s close to you, in your heart … we are always together, we travel together, we work together,” Cruz said with tears.
“I’m talking right now, I’m trying to put a brave face on everyone because I’m a nurse, so that’s what we do every day when I work and I’m with patients and families, but it’s different when it’s closer to you, ”Cruz said at the hospital as Ambrocio clung to life support.
“I want her to be at peace. I know there is no going back. There is no hope. ”
Jermaine Foster, 26, who is homeless, was charged early Saturday morning with robbery and assault in connection with the incidents, police said.
A desperate and barely audible Cruz struggled to share his feelings with the suspect.
“I do not care what he does or what he did, you know, the only thing I care about is that he took my friend from me, from her family, from the people who love her so much, from a lot of circles of friends that we have, ”she said.
Carlito had much stronger words for Foster, who had broken into a woman’s apartment just before the Times Square attack, police said.
“We want justice. I want him to be locked inside for a very long time so he can not hurt more people. Throw the keys away so he can no longer get out. ”