A suspected New York City mugger was arrested for second-degree murder after a nurse died from injuries she sustained when the man allegedly knocked her to the ground.
Around 1:30 p.m. Oct 8, Jermaine Foster, 26, allegedly snatched a 29-year-old woman’s cell phone in Times Square. As he fled, police claimed in a criminal complaint, he rammed into Maria Ambrocia, a 58-year-old oncology nurse who was in the city from New Jersey with friends.
Ambrocia fell to the ground, hit her head and was knocked unconscious. The following day, family removed her from life support, and she passed away.
“The victim, in this case, died approximately 30 hours after the defendant knocked her over while fleeing from a robbery, causing her to hit the ground and suffer a traumatic brain injury,” Manhattan prosecutor Kevin Ryan said at Foster’s arraignment. “She never woke from the injury and had lost all neuro function prior to passing.”
“He’s never gotten into trouble of this sort,” the murder suspect’s stepfather, Orette Montague, told WCBS-TV. “I feel so bad for them… I know, it’s so heartbreaking.”
Foster is also accused of a home invasion near where Ambrocia fell. Shortly before the incident involving the nurse, Foster allegedly went into a woman’s apartment, sat on the couch, began screaming “I’m an African prince!” and then ran out after stealing around $15, The New York Post reported.
In addition to the murder charge, Foster faces two counts of robbery in connection to the alleged cell phone snatching, and robbery and burglary charges for the alleged home invasion.
Family claimed Foster is mentally ill and said he struggled after his father passed away during the pandemic, according to WCBS-TV.
“Any time he’s not on his medication he doesn’t think right,” Montague said. “When his dad died from COVID-19, he was left alone.”
Foster is being held without bail on the murder charge.