June 8, 2020 By Michel Dorgan
A ‘vigilante’ who was suspicious of two black men who were driving through his Jamaica neighborhood allegedly pursued them in his car, pulled out a gun and fired shots.
Yosef Aranbayev, 41, has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, after following the black men in his Dodge Durango at around 7:25 p.m. Saturday and firing shots at them, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Monday.
Aranbayev, who lives on Radnor Road in Jamaica, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the charges, Katz said.
“The defendant is accused of being a vigilante hell-bent on clearing his neighborhood of the two black men who drove through,” Katz said. “The defendant is being charged with numerous hate crimes and will be accountable for his alleged actions.”
Aranbayev, according to the complaint, was nabbed by police after officers saw the two victims trying to get away in their vehicle during the pursuit.
The victims were driving on the wrong side of the road and almost struck a police vehicle at a traffic light at the intersection of 73rd Avenue and Parsons Boulevard. The driver pulled up alongside the police car and told the officers that they were being followed.
The frightened driver pointed to an on-coming black Dodge Durango and said the driver had shot at them.
Police saw Aranbayev driving his Dodge Durango cutting through a gas station to avoid a light in his pursuit. The officers then pulled him over.
Aranbayev allegedly told officers that two black men were scouting his neighborhood all day. He said that he was chasing them out of the neighborhood. Aranbayev also told cops that there were other people helping him chase the two men.
Cops searched his car and allegedly recovered a loaded .357 revolver and one spent shell casing inside the gun.
Aranbayev allegedly admitted that he had fired the gun telling police, “I wasn’t shooting to kill them – just shooting to scare them,” according to the complaint.
He was immediately taken into police custody.
Katz vowed that Aranbayev would be held accountable for his alleged actions.
“Public streets belong to everyone – and it offends the public conscience to think that someone believes they have the right to chase down and shoot at anyone because they’re not from the neighborhood,” she said.
Aranbayev has been charged with attempted murder in the second degree as a hate crime, attempted assault in the first degree as a hate crime, reckless endangerment in the first degree as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, reckless driving and avoiding intersection or traffic control device.
Aranbayev was held on a $50,000 bond/$25,000 cash bail and is ordered to return to court on Sept. 15.