NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect has been charged with pushing a U.S. Army veteran into traffic and killing him following a simple fender bender in Queens earlier this month.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported exclusively Friday, the break in the case came two weeks after multiple witness interviews. Investigators said they caught up with the man almost two weeks after the crime.
The man’s mother, grandmother and sister stood stunned on the porch of their South Ozone Park home, moments after learning that the death of decorated Army veteran Hassan Jones, 28, was no accident.
“I am just devastated of course, because that was my baby,” said Jones’ mother, Valerie Jones Mustafa.
“The way he was killed, just ridiculous,” said the victim’s sister, Shabria Robinson. “Like, why would you drag somebody’s body?”
It was Saturday morning two weeks ago along the Grand Central Parkway when Jones, behind the wheel, was involved in a fender bender. Police said as Jones and the other driver traded insurance information on the side of the road, the owner of the other car – brandishing as screwdriver – suddenly pushed the Army veteran into the path of incoming traffic.
As he lay in the roadway, Jones was struck and dragged by another car, police said.
Police have identified the other driver as Yomar Moran, 20. He was charged Friday with murder, manslaughter, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon in the case.
“I’m just really hurt that someone would do that to my loved one and our family member,” Robinson said.
“He loved the military — oh my God, my son has a lot of friends,” added Jones Mustafa.
Jones served in the Army between 2009 and 2014. He remained in the reserves and was studying security management at the TCI College of Technology near Penn Station.
Police said Jones and Moran did not know one another.
A criminal complaint said after the cars bumped, Moran tried to steal the soldier’s gold chain, money clip, and wallet. He then punched jones and knocked him into the parkway, authorities alleged.
Moran jumped back into his vehicle and fled the scene, authorities alleged.
CBS2’s McLogan spoke with Moran’s father at his Queens home, and his mother inside her hair salon. They had no comment at this time.
Moran was being held on $500,000 bail as of Friday afternoon.
“I’m just so blessed to have a child like that. I couldn’t believe it how he’s touched so many lives,” Jones Mustafa said.
The driver of the car that dragged Jones – identified as Starlyn-Antonio Colon-Burgos, 20, of Queens – was also arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death after. Police said he fled the scene, but officers caught up with him on the parkway.
Colon-Burgos was released from custody on bail.