The old Marine would like to be called “Ralph.” Nothing more.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, would prefer you to call him a “hero”, because without Ralph, many more innocent city residents could’ve been victim to a crazed man using a 14,000-pound automobile as a deadly weapon.
The Marine Corps vet was going about his daily routine last Thursday night near his Bronx residence — strolling into his neighborhood convenience store — when tragedy, senselessly, struck just outside its doors.
An ambulance, with two FDNY EMTs aboard, had pulled up to the storefront after a passing motorist alerted them to the fact that there was someone riding on their bumper.
Authorities now confirm it was “career criminal” Jose Gonzalez.
When they got out to inspect, Gonzalez jumped into the cab of the emergency vehicle and right behind the wheel. He put it in drive, and ran over both first responders, killing Yadira Arroyo and injuring her partner.
While inside, Ralph heard the screaming and yelling, and rushed to the scene.
The first thing he witnessed was the ambulance completely out of control, wildly ramming and crashing into parked cars.
So, he did what he was trained to do, all those years ago.
This from PIX 11:
“I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t get away,” Ralph said.
Ralph, along with another man and an MTA official who happened to be at the scene, worked together to detain him.
“When he had his hands away from his body, that’s when I realized it was a good time for us to take him,” Ralph said.
The three worked together to handcuff Gonzalez.
The MTA official went to Arroyo’s aid as Ralph sat on Gonzalez, keeping him at the scene as the suspect rambled incoherently until police arrived.
“I want to thank those good Samaritans who helped to apprehend the perpetrator and stop other violence from afflicting others. A lot of heroism was on display today amidst a real tragedy,” said de Blasio.
The selfless vet has deflected any and all credit for the arrest, instead insisting that the MTA officer was the real hero.
“I’m not a hero,” he said.
Arroyo was a mother of five. She’d been a first responder for 14 years.