'A senseless crime.' Family mourns Bayonne nurse killed in Times Square attack
The family of a Bayonne nurse who died as a result of an attack in New York City this weekend is calling it all a "senseless crime."
Carlito Santa Maria says that he can't believe that his older sister Maria Ambrocio survived the COVID-19 pandemic as a front-line worker, only to fall victim to a random crime. Ambrocio worked at Bayonne Medical Center for decades.
Ambrocio was in Times Square Friday when she was knocked down by a man who police say had just stolen a cellphone. She was rendered unconscious and died the next day.
The family says the oncology nurse had just left the Philippine Consulate with friends when the assault took place. They held a memorial Mass for her in the city Monday afternoon. Her brother, who also lives in New Jersey, says her death was unnecessary.
"I normally watch the crime story and never in my dreams would I think my family would be involved in a crime like this,” says Sta Maria. “When I spoke to the family members in Philippines, they were all in tears and crying. They can't believe it happened."
Her brother says their father died of COVID-19 last spring, and the siblings were supposed to go to the Philippines to give him a proper burial when it was safe. Ambrocio also leaves behind her husband, stepchildren and a grandchild.
A 28-year-old man from Irvington was arrested in the robbery and assault and is now charged with murder.
Services will be held at S. Fryczynski and Son Funeral Home in Bayonne Sunday. A church service will be held Monday morning at St. Henry's Catholic Church.