Jeweler to the stars and escapee of Communist Russia killed in hit-and-run

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A Forest Hills man, and Diamond District jeweler to the stars, died on Monday after being the victim of an unnecessary hit-and-run on Sunday.

40-year-old Aron “Eric” Aranbayev was getting out of his car around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday night when a Dodge Magnum sped past him. After he yelled at the driver to slow down, the Dodge driver pulled his brakes and reversed until Aranbayev was in front of him. The driver then ran him over. Aranbayev later died at Jamaica Hospital. Police are still searching for the suspect.

Along with his father, Rafael, and his cousin, Gabriel Jacobs, Aranbayev escaped Communist Russia and emigrated to the U.S. in 1985 from Uzbekistan. After starting a wholesale jewelry business, the men opened up Rafaello & Company in the Diamond District in 2009. There, Aranbayev became a hit among superstar clients. His clientele included Khloe Kardashian, Lebron James, Diddy, Jay Z, Busta Rhymes, Alicia Keys, Drake, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Nelly, Carmelo Anthony, Waka Flocka Flame, Kevin Hart and more.

At his funeral on Tuesday at the Bukharian Jewish Community Center, a friend said Aranbayev’s passion and tendency to speak his mind might’ve gotten him into trouble. Still, he claimed Aranbayev wasn’t a fighting man.

“If anyone talked with him for two minutes they were charmed,” said a loved one of Aranbayev. “If you met him, you loved him. There are hundreds of people (here), he touched all those lives in a positive way.”

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3 Responses

  1. July 27, 2015

    […] Forest Hills jeweler who was the victim of an intended hit-and-run in Forest Hills is the first homicide within the 112th Precinct in three […]

  2. July 30, 2015

    […] death in the area over a matter of weeks. Recently, 40-year-old famed jeweler Aron Aranbayev was plowed down by a Dodge Magnum driver with a serious case of road […]

  3. July 30, 2015

    […] month, jeweler to the stars Aron Aranbayev was killed after the driver of a mysterious Dodge Magnum ran him over on 71st Avenue. Well, the mystery has been solved. MTA train operator Charles Jordan has been arrested for […]

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