Yadira Arroyo, 44, a mother of five, was crushed under the wheels and her partner was injured after they tried to shoo the man off the ambulance in the Bronx, officials said.
The incident began when the EMTs were responding to a call and a passing motorist alerted them that the man was riding on the bumper, the Post reported.
When Arroyo and partner Monique Williams exited the ambulance to investigate, the man jumped in the vehicle, CNN reported. Arroyo tried to stop him, clinging to the side of the ambulance as the 25-year-old man floored the gas pedal, backed into her and then dragged her eight to 10 feet forward, witnesses told the Post.
Arroyo was pronounced dead at Jacobi Medical Center, the Post reported.
"They got out to see what has happening," New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told CNN. "This person in turn went around the other side of the ambulance and got into the driver's side ... they tried to get him out of the ambulance, he put it in reverse (and) struck the one EMT who was injured, and he ran over our other EMT and she was subsequently killed.
“They were acting very bravely. They certainly wanted to continue on their way to the call. This person had no business being in this ambulance,” Nigro told the Post.
A video of the incident posted on social media shows what appears to be the vehicle rolling over Arroyo, a 14-year FDNY veteran. The ambulance then stopped after it crashed into parked cars and a pile of snow, video posted on social media shows.
The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, has a prior criminal record. He was apprehended by passing MTA K-9 Officer Danny McCabe and a group of good Samaritans, the Post reported.