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MTA Train Operator Arrested in Connection With Fatal Hit-And-Run of Jeweler

 Aron Aranbayev was mowed down just steps from his Forest Hills home.
Jeweler to the Stars Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in Forest Hills
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QUEENS — An MTA train operator was arrested Thursday in connection with the hit-and-run in Forest Hills earlier this month that killed Aron Aranbayev, a jeweler to the stars, authorities said.

Charles Jordan, 46, of Valley Stream, L.I., was awaiting arraignment Thursday afternoon 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, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.

Aranbayev, 40, whose clients included Floyd Mayweather and Alicia Keys, was mowed down on July 19 at 11:15 p.m. on 71st Ave., between 110th and 112th streets, just steps from his home, according to the NYPD.

Police said that Aranbayev, who had just been dropped off by a friend, got involved in a verbal dispute with the driver of a passing car, a dark colored Dodge Magnum, which at some point reversed and then sped forward, intentionally hitting Aranbayev, police said. 

The driver then fled on 71st Avenue towards 112th Street, police said.

Aranbayev, who was known his clients as "Eric" and co-owned Rafaello & Co., a jewelry store on 47th Street in the Diamond District, hit his head and succumbed to his injuries the following day.

"The victim didn’t have a chance," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement. "He was allegedly brutally rammed by a 1,000-plus pound, high-speed vehicle that violently threw him to the ground."

Authorities later released video footage of the vehicle that reportedly hit Aranbayev, a father of four young children. 

Sources said that police were able to identify the car which led them to Jordan.

Sources also said that when investigators questioned Jordan, he “placed himself at the scene” and admitted that there was a dispute. It was not immediately clear what the dispute was about.

Jordan was expected to be arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Thursday evening or Friday morning, the Queens DA's office said.

According to the MTA, Jordan was hired as a conductor in 2000, and promoted to train operator in 2006. 

He was suspended without pay following his arrest, the agency said. 

If convicted, Jordan faces up to 25 years to life in prison, according to the DA's office.