NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An MTA train operator faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the hit-and-run death of a well-known jeweler.
Charles Jordan, 46, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, second-degree murder with depraved indifference and leaving the scene of an accident in connection with the death of 40-year-old Aron Aranbayev, police said.
Aranbayev was run over near his Forest Hills home on 71st Avenue near 110th Street on July 19, police said.
Surveillance cameras captured the vehicle after investigators said the driver deliberately backed over the jeweler and drove off.
Police say they traced the dark Dodge Magnum to Jordan and picked him up Thursday morning at his home in Valley Stream, Long Island, CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported.
Police told CBS2 that Aranbayev’s brother was double-parked dropping him off at home when a driver sped by. Aranbayev yelled at him, accusing him of wild driving, police said. As his brother left, the driver stopped, put the car in reverse and hit Aranbayev, witnesses said.
Cops say surveillance video matches witness accounts of what happened.
Aranbayev, who suffered severe head trauma, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.
“The defendant is accused of viciously running down and killing a 40-year-old man, who was standing in front of his home. The victim didn’t have a chance,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “He was allegedly brutally rammed by a 1,000-plus-pound, high-speed vehicle that violently threw him to the ground. The victim hit his head and succumbed to his injuries. This was a senseless, violent death that could have easily been prevented.”
Aranbayev worked at his family’s renowned store, Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan, for a decade. His Instagram feed includes photos of him posing with many celebrity clients in his store, including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Hart, Khloe Kardashian and Macklemore.
Aranbayev leaves behind a wife and three young children, including a 7-month-old baby.
The victim’s wife, Sophia Aranbayev, spoke exclusively with CBS2 last week.
“It’s just a very, very tough time,” she told CBS2’s Ilana Gold. “Everything is just taken away in a day.”
The MTA has suspended Jordan without pay.