What to Know
- A gas station attendant in South Hempstead, Long Island, was struck and killed by a driver stealing $22 worth of gas, cops and witnesses say
- The victim, a Turkish immigrant and father of two who worked at the station for 25 years, was 59 years old
- Police are searching for the driver, last seen in a dark colored SUV
A Long Island gas station attendant was mowed down by a driver trying to get away with $22 worth of stolen gasoline, police say.
The attendant -- identified as 59-year-old Cemal Dageviren, a Turkish immigrant and father of two who'd been pumping gas at Pit Stop gas station in South Hempstead for 25 years -- was killed while just doing his job Monday morning, police said.
Dagevrien pumped $22 worth of gas into a black GMC Yukon and was trying to collect payment when the driver wearing an orange hat got into the car and tried to take off. The SUV, which already had front-end damage on it when it arrived, had no plate or registration
Surveillance video shows Dagevrien trying to block the driver from leaving. The driver mowed him down as he fled.
Neighbor Joe Loliscio was walking his dog when he came upon the tragic scene.
"He was lying in the street," he said. "Women were out there who witnessed it, they were crying, yelling it was a hit and run."
Nassau police called it a vehicular homicide.
"Oh, my God. I am sick. Sick over this," said Sandi Aruti, a regular customer at the station who knew the attendant.
Rodi Polat, who once worked with the victim, said he was "a good guy, very good to customers."
Police were on the scene all day Monday, looking for evidence as they searched for the driver.
His family was in mourning Tuesday, reflecting on the hard-working father who provided so much.
"He just did what he was supposed to do as a parent," said older son Ali Dagdeviren. "Me and my brother are here because of him."
Longtime customers stopped at the gas station to add to the memorial, honoring the reliable mechanic and friendly face who made their days a little better.
A $10,000 reward was being offered to help bring Dagdeviren's killer to justice.