De La Cruz family says it took half hour for ambulance to arrive

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De La Cruz family members console one another (c) MHNN
Jorge Arbayza De La Cruz

CITY OF NEWBURGH – Still reeling from the brutal murder of 51-year-old cabbie Jorge Arbayza De La Cruz Thursday night, friends and family held a vigil in his honor, Saturday evening, at the scene of the crime in Newburgh.

The vigil was met with an outpouring of support from the community, local law enforcement and elected officials, which made it both a somber sharing of grief and support, as well as a call to action for the collection of information on the shooter, or shooters, who are still at-large.

De La Cruz’s niece Ashley Dominguez said her uncle was her second father figure and was loved by everyone who knew him. She said the family knows very little about his murder and they just want justice for her uncle.

“The only thing we know is that it was planned to rob my uncle and we just want someone to come out to at least say one of the persons, or all of them that did this to my uncle,” said Dominguez. “He didn’t deserve this at all,” she said.

Dominguez also made a point to criticize the ambulance response time, claiming it may very well had been the determining factor in his death. EMS personnel disputed that claim, saying they were on the scene within minutes.

State Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson talks with family members at the vigil (c) MHNN

“There was a chance for my uncle to survive, but the ambulance came 30 minutes after we called and he didn’t make it. On the way there he passed away; so, whenever someone calls, make it there in time even if it’s nothing serious because you never know,” said Dominguez.

According to City Police Chief Anthony Geraci, in addition to a $15,000 reward being offered by the family for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators, the city has partnered with the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to offer another $5,000 reward.

Geraci said details are limited due to the ongoing investigation, but this case is particularly troubling given its circumstances.

“What I will say is that every incidence of gun violence in this community is troubling; but this one stands out because here is a person who came to this country, looking for a better life, he’s working and he’s attacked unprovoked, viciously, violently. He’s murdered and left in the middle of the street. It’s very troubling,” said Geraci.

Anyone with information regarding the individuals involved in De La Cruz’s murder or have information about taxi #33 prior to 8 p.m. Thursday evening, is urged to contact: the city detective’s office at (845) 569-7560.