A Jewish family from Queens is hoping that a new surveillance video will help find a driver who police say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a well-known jeweler dead, New York’s CBS2 reports.
The jeweler, Aron Aranbayev, was killed when he was run over by a dark-colored Dodge Magnum near his Forest Hills home on 71st Avenue by 110th Street last Sunday, police said.
His wife, Sophia, is now trying to cope with the sudden death of her husband. The couple have three young children, including a 7-month-old baby.
“It’s just a very, very tough time,” she told CBS2. “Everything is just taken away in a day.”
According to the report, surveillance cameras captured the vehicle that hit Aranbayev after investigators said the driver deliberately backed over the 40-year-old jeweler and drove off.
His family was inside, just feet away. Aranbayev was taken to hospital, where he died.
“My heart was just broken that I was not able to be outside and help him,” his wife said, adding, “He fell so hard, he had a fracture of his skull. There was nothing we could have done to help him.”
Investigators believe Aranbayev and the driver may have gotten into a fight over a parking spot, according to CBS2.
“This guy didn’t deserve what happened to him. It’s a really, really good family,” a neighbor, Gregory Yagudaev, told the news station.
“He was taken away unfairly for no reason,” Sophia Aranbayev said.
Aranbayev worked at his family’s renowned store, Rafaello & Co. in Manhattan, for a decade. The store, which attracted many well-known celebrities, remains closed as his loved ones grieve.
Police said on Thursday the car they are looking for may have front-end damage. They released a flier and are urging everyone to take a good look at the car and speak up if they know anything, Gold reported.
The family is offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577.