Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that a Queens man has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and other charges after he followed a vehicle that was driving in his neighborhood, then pulled out a gun and fired on the occupants of the car.

District Attorney Katz said, “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. This could have ended with someone being killed. The defendant is accused of being a vigilante hell-bent on clearing his neighborhood of the 2 black men who drove through. The defendant is being charged with numerous hate crimes and will be held accountable for his alleged actions.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Yosef Aranbayev, 41, of Radnor Road in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Defendant Aranbayev was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Eugene Guarino on a complaint charging him with attempted assault in the first-degree as a hate crime, attempted murder in the second-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. Judge Guarino held the defendant on $50,000 bond/$25,000 cash bail and ordered him to return to court on September 15, 2020. If convicted, the defendant faces between 8 and 25 years in prison.

District Attorney Katz said that, on Saturday, June 6, 2020, around 7:25 p.m. at the intersection of 73rd Avenue and Parsons Boulevard a police vehicle that was stopped by a traffic light observed a black Chevy Tahoe speeding toward him on the wrong side of the road. The car nearly struck the police vehicle. The driver of the Tahoe pulled along the side of the police car and told the officers that someone was following them and pointed at the on-coming black Dodge Durango and said they had shot at him.

Continuing, said DA Katz, the defendant in the Durango was allegedly observed by police cutting through a gas station to avoid a traffic light. Moments later the police pulled the car over and at that time the defendant allegedly stated to the officers “those guys were in my neighborhood. I’m sorry officer, I didn’t do anything wrong. They were scouting my whole neighborhood the whole day.” Aranbayev, who said others were helping him, continued stating in sum and substance to the police that, “I was chasing those guys…We’re chasing them out of our neighborhood.”

According to the charges, said DA Katz, police allegedly recovered a loaded gun and one spent shell casing inside the .357 revolver. Aranbayev seeing the police retrieve the weapon allegedly admitted that he had fired the gun. “I wasn’t shooting to kill them – just shooting to scare them.” The defendant was immediately taken into police custody.

Assistant District Attorney Michael E. Brovner, Chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Trial Division Pishoy Yacob.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.