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EMT killer was freed because judge didn't have his rap sheet

The Bronx judge who ordered the release of the career criminal who went on to kill EMT Yadira Arroyo was acting on less than the full picture, court records show.

Judge David Kirschner of Bronx Criminal Court declined the prosecutor’s request to set $5,000 bail and ordered Jose Gonzalez released on Feb. 26, after he was arrested for trying to hit a cop.

He was captured on video screaming at cops after kicking out the rear video of an NYPD vehicle.

Arroyo’s family and supporters have criticized the fact that Gonzalez was on the street even though he had been arrested 31 prior times.

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“It’s something that I questioned from the beginning,” said Israel Miranda, head of Local 2507 that represents EMTs.

“He tried to hit a female police officer and hit a security guard. The DA requested bail based on his history and it was denied. It puzzles me why the judge denied it.”

Bronx prosecutors argued in the Feb. 26 arraignment that Gonzalez’s behavior showed a “disregard for a valid court order and for law enforcement.”

But a source said Kirschner did not have Gonzalez’s full arrest record in front of him. Gonzalez was never the subject of a criminal warrant.

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FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed when she was struck by her ambulance.

FDNY EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed when she was struck by her ambulance.


His psychiatric history was never raised in the hearing, a transcript of the hearing shows. No one requested a psychiatric exam.

“He had the rap sheet which had eight misdemeanors on it mostly for marijuana and the complaint,” the source said. “He didn’t see the video, which came out only this week.”

“What is he supposed to be — Carnac?” the source said. “Out of 100 arraignments, 99 are fine and sometimes one of them blows up. This case ended up horribly and you have an unbelievably sympathetic victim and an unbelievably unsympathetic bum.”

In the Feb. 26 hearing, Assistant District Attorney Hayden Briklin asked for $5,000 bail, citing Gonzalez’s four misdemeanor convictions and a failure to appear in court, court records show.

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Briklin also noted that he had an open assault case, the records show.

“By this arrest alone, this defendant has proven he cannot follow court orders and stay out of trouble and not get arrested,” Briklin told Judge Kirschner.

She said Gonzalez had tried to punch a police officer trying to investigate a robbery.

Israel Miranda, president of Local 2507, said he's puzzled why a judge released Gonzalez despite his lengthy rap sheet.

Israel Miranda, president of Local 2507, said he’s puzzled why a judge released Gonzalez despite his lengthy rap sheet.

(Barry Williams/for New York Daily News)

“The defendant, unprovoked, attacked the officer and then resisted arrest,” she said. “Once he was subdued by three police officers, the defendant was placed in the back of a police vehicle and kicked out the rear window of the vehicle.”

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But Gonzalez’s lawyer, Anna Sim, disputed that he had tried to hit a cop and pressed Kirschner to release him without bail.

“He adamantly denies trying to hit any of the police officers,” she said. “They (the police) didn’t say they were investigating a robbery and wanted to ask him some questions. All he knew was the police officers were starting to run up on him.”

Kirschner asked whether Gonzalez has another open case.

“No,” defense lawyer Sims replied. “That’s the only case he has: the one tomorrow.”

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Kirschner then ordered him released until the court hearing the next day.

“I am going to release him, but I will put this on tomorrow to join even though it’s a short date, just to join since he’s going to be here tomorrow anyway,” he said. “Defendant released on his own recognizance.”

new york murders
yadira arroyo

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