Tag Archives: 71st Avenue

MTA train operator arrested in hit-and-run death of celebrity jeweler in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@rafaello_eric

Updated 4:29 p.m.

An MTA train operator has been arrested for striking and killing a well-known jeweler in Forest Hills with his car, authorities said.

Charles Jordan, 46, of Long Island, is currently awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting a death and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the district attorney’s office said.

Aron Aranbayev, 40, had just gotten dropped off steps from his home on 71st Avenue near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. on July 19 when Jordan drove up and got into a heated argument with him. According to prosecutors, Jordan then allegedly put his Dodge Magnum in reverse, backed up, put it into drive, accelerated and then intentionally hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before speeding away.

Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day, authorities said.

Jordan’s arrest follows the release of video footage a week ago of his car from the night of the incident.

According to the New York Post, there was a $50,000 reward fund to help locate the driver who hit Aranbayev.

Aranbayev, a married father of four who was also known as “Eric,” was a jeweler at his family-owned store Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District, reports said. His celebrity clients included Floyd Mayweather, Sean Combs, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Brown.

Mayweather had donated $10,000 to the reward fund, with the additional $25,000 coming from Aranbayev’s family and $15,000 from an anonymous donor.

Jordan, who faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, has been suspended without pay from the MTA following the arrest, a spokesman for the agency said. Jordan has worked for the MTA since 2000, when he was hired as a conductor. In 2006, he was promoted to a train operator.

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Video released of vehicle that struck and killed jeweler in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Updated Friday, July 24, 9:04 a.m.

Police have released video footage of the vehicle that reportedly fatally struck a jeweler to the stars following an argument between the victim and driver in Forest Hills Sunday night.

Aron Aranbayev was just steps from his 71st Avenue home near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. when he allegedly got into a dispute with the driver. According to police, the driver then hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before fleeing.

Officers from the 112th Precinct and EMS responded to the scene. Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday, authorities said.

His death has been ruled a homicide and police are still looking for the driver, who was behind the wheel of a dark-colored Dodge Magnum. Thursday night, the NYPD released video of the car.


Aranbayev, who was also known as “Eric,” was a jeweler at his family-owned store Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District, reports said. His celebrity clients included Floyd Mayweather, Sean Combs, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Brown.

With @iamdiddy last night in the A! #BadBoy #MMG #ATL #TeamRafaello @rafaelloandco

A photo posted by Eric A. (@rafaello_eric) on

Boxing star Mayweather has donated $10,000 to a reward fund to help locate the driver who hit Aranbayev, according to the New York Post. In total, the fund is offering a $50,000 reward, with the additional $25,000 coming from Aranbayev’s family and $15,000 from an anonymous donor.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Police looking for driver who fatally struck man in Forest Hills


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

A 40-year-old Forest Hills man is dead after he was struck by a car just steps from his home following a dispute with a driver Sunday night, police said.

Aron Aranbayev was on 71st Avenue near 110th Street at about 11:15 p.m. when he allegedly got into the argument with a driver of a dark colored Dodge Magnum. According to authorities, the driver then hit Aranbayev with his vehicle before speeding away.

Officers from the 112th Precinct and EMS responded to the scene. Aranbayev was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday. His death has now been classified as a homicide, police said.

According to CBS New York, Aranbayev is a well-known jeweler with celebrity clients, working at his family’s store Rafaello & Co. on West 47th Street in Manhattan.

Police are still searching for the driver.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.

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Cops bust deli burglars trying to hide on roof


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD apprehended five burglary suspects during a Kew Garden Hills deli heist, who almost got away with thousands in cash.

Police, responding to a report of a burglary at JK Deli, at the corner of 71st Avenue and Kissena Boulevard, about 3 a.m. Friday, noticed the ceiling of the deli and a damaged ATM machine, the NYPD said.

One of the officers immediately went up to the roof of the deli through a hole in the ceiling, while he called for backup from the Emergency Service Unit to secure the perimeter of the store, police said.

Once on the roof, the officer saw four men trying to hide on one of the roof’s side walls, the NYPD said.

The suspects then ran in separate directions. One suspect was apprehended in an elevator of an adjoining building, police said. Two suspects were apprehended by the Emergency Service Unit from trees adjacent to the building, and the fourth suspect was apprehended by the officer after a brief struggle.

No officers or suspects were injured.

A fifth man involved in the burglary who was waiting in a nearby parked vehicle was also arrested, police said.

Following the arrests, officers recovered over $12,000 in cash the suspects allegedly removed from the ATM, 3,518 lottery scratch-off tickets, 162 packs of cigarettes and 49 boxes of cigars, cops said. They also recovered hammers, a pry bar, drill, flashlight and a propane torch in connection to the burglary.

Robert Martin, 27, Jose Rosario, 25, Christopher Aulet, 21, Sean Martin, 19, and an unidentified 15-year-old suspect have all been charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar’s tools, the NYPD said. Sean Martin has also been charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

Anyone with information in regards to similar incidents is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

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Second Myrtle Avenue pedestrian plaza gets community support


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of the Department of Transportation

Call it the Myrtle Avenue makeover.

Community Board 5 (CB5) is in favor of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) plan to transform the corner of Myrtle and 71st Avenues into a pedestrian plaza.

The plan to makeover the space was almost fully accepted at the board’s most recent transportation committee meeting, except for a few minor changes.

Photo courtesy the Department of Transportation 

“It’s a nice attribute for the community,” said Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) and a member of the community board. “Pedestrian plazas have become very popular throughout the city.”

The DOT will install new lighting, bike racks, plants, chess tables, chairs and umbrellas for shade, and raise the sidewalk for the new square.

Renz said the BID will look to create art and music programs and variety of services at the plaza for the community to enjoy when it is completed.

But before that, the DOT has to tweak the plan and present the final designs to the community board’s transportation committee for approval at an upcoming meeting.

The plaza is just one of two coming to Myrtle Avenue. The city’s Department of Design and Construction is in the final design phase for another public square at the intersection of Myrtle and Cooper Avenues in Glendale, which is known as the Glendale Veterans Triangle. It is expected to go out to bid and start construction by next year, according to Renz.

Rendering courtesy of the Department of Design and Construction

 

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