Jose Gonzalez, 25, of the Bronx, was charged with murder, grand larceny and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.
According to the NYPD, he is an emotionally disturbed person and has a criminal history.
Gonzalez has 31 prior arrests, including criminal mischief, assault, marijuana sale and possession, turnstile jumping and public lewdness. He also has six prior interactions with police as an emotionally disturbed person.
Gonzalez's most recent arrest was on Feb. 25, when he was charged with criminal mischief for kicking out the window of a marked police van.
"He spat at one of the female officers and he started saying stuff like 'she should get raped' and stuff like that," a resident said.
As he was escorted by police from the 43rd Precinct early Friday morning, Gonzalez muttered to himself with EMTs silently watching him being put into a waiting police cruiser.
"I'm innocent. I didn't do nothing. I'm innocent," Gonzalez said as he walked by.
The night of the crime, at White Plains Road and Watson Avenue in the Morris Park section, an ambulance was flagged down by a pedestrian.
Police said the EMT, Yadira Arroyo, 44, who was behind the wheel, got out of the ambulance along with her partner. Then, the suspect apparently got into the driver's seat and started to drive away. The two EMTs tried to stop him, police said.
The suspect put the ambulance in reverse, knocking Arroyo to the ground, then drove over her, police said. He kept going backwards, hitting two occupied cars, a 2014 Honda Pilot and a 2007 Toyota Camry. No one in the cars was hurt.
He hit a parked, unoccupied 1997 Lincoln Town car, then dragged Arroyo into the middle of the intersection, police said. The ambulance turned left onto eastbound Watson Avenue, and struck a 2007 Infiniti G35 and a 2000 Kia Sportage, both parked, before coming to a stop.
The NYPD said that Gonzalez tried to flee on foot, but was taken into custody by an MTA police officer who was on patrol.
Below is exclusive video showing the officer hold Gonzalez down:
Arroyo was a mother of five and a 14-year veteran of the FDNY.
She was taken to Jacobi hospital in critical condition, where she later died from her injuries. The EMT's partner had neck and shoulder injuries.
The investigation was continuing.