34° Good Morning
34° Good Morning

MTA train operator charged in death of Aron Aranbayev, jeweler to the stars

An MTA worker was charged on Thursday with fatally hitting a jeweler earlier this month in front of the victim's Forest Hills apartment and fleeing the scene, authorities said.

The jeweler to the stars, Aron Aranbayev, who went by Eric, was run over on July 19 after getting into an argument with another man. They may have been arguing over a parking space, police said.

Aranbayev, 40, was one of the founders of Rafaello & Co., a Diamond District jeweler that catered to the stars, including Jay Z, Carmelo Anthony and Rick Ross, according Aranbayev's Instagram account. Aranbayev, who posed for photos with celebrities like Sean Combs, Khloé Kardashian and Swizz Beatz, had four young children, authorities said.

Charles Jordan, 46, of Valley Stream, Long Island, was charged with second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting a death and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Queens district attorney's office. If convicted, Jordan faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Jordan is accused of getting into an argument with Aranbayev as he got out of a vehicle dropping him off near his home. Jordan allegedly put his car in reverse and backed up, before speeding forward and intentionally slamming into Aranbayev.
He then apparently sped away without stopping, according to the Queens district attorney's office.

Jordan was hired as a conductor in 2000, was promoted to train operator in 2006, and was currently assigned to work train duty, a spokesman for the MTA said. Jordan was suspended without pay, he said.

Jordan worked at a train yard in Brooklyn, said a union official.

He has one prior arrest, which is sealed, police said.

Jordan was awaiting arraignment on Thursday and could not be reached for comment.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos