BAYONNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There are new details about the man accused of knocking a New Jersey nurse to the ground in Times Square on Friday after mugging another woman.
He has now been charged with murder.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon spoke to the woman’s devastated family on Sunday.
Oncology nurse Maria Ambrocio should have been working at Bayonne Medical Center on Saturday night. Instead, her brother said the 58-year-old was surrounded by her family when she was taken off life support.
“She was just here. I mean, it’s really devastating. I have no words. I just wanted to cry,” Carlito Sta Maria said.
Ambrocio was in Times Square on Friday afternoon when the incident happened.
“It is a horrible thing. I don’t know what to tell you. I can’t feel it now because she’s gone. She’s gone,” friend Emilia Cruz said.
Cruz said they had just finished lunch when a man plowed into Ambrocio outside a pizzeria. Police said that man was being chased after stealing a woman’s phone.
Ambrocio was pushed, fell and cracked her skull when her head hit the pavement.
“She was every friend that anybody wants to have. She was a very kind and caring person, extremely sincere, honest and loving,” Cruz said.
Police said the homeless man, 26-year-old Jermaine Foster, took off, but was arrested minutes later.
Meanwhile, sources told CBS2 Foster was also involved in a home invasion robbery shortly before the incident at a woman’s apartment near 38th Street and Sixth Avenue.
In addition to Friday’s incident, sources said Foster was arrested last month in Midtown after he allegedly groped a woman on the street. He was charged with forcible touching and sent to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
As for Ambrocio, her family said she immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in the late 1980s, and often sent money back home to her family.
She was married, with four stepchildren and several grandchildren.
A committed member of her church and the Filipino community, Ambrocio was passionate about being a nurse, traveling and music.
Her loved ones call her death senseless. They don’t understand why the suspect was on the street if he had a recent prior arrest.
“Heartbroken. Yes, and I’m angry. I’m angry for that person who did this to my sister. We want justice,” Sta Maria said.
For now, they said they have been left with a permanent hole in their family.
Foster is being held awaiting arraignment on multiple charges.
A memorial Mass for Ambrocio will be held Monday afternoon.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report. Editor’s note: This story was originally published Oct. 10.