Joshua Roston ran over 59-year-old Cemal ‘John’ Dagdeviren after stealing $22 worth of gas; defendant fled New York and was arrested in Pennsylvania
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a Baldwin man was convicted by a jury today of murder and related charges for the 2019 hit-and-run death of a gas station worker.
Joshua Roston, 38, was convicted after a trial before Judge Meryl Berkowitz of Murder in the Second Degree (an A-I felony); two counts of Robbery in the First Degree (a B violent felony); Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony); Robbery in the Third Degree (a D felony); Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting (a D felony); and three counts of Petit Larceny (an A misdemeanor). He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2023, and faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
The defendant was acquitted of one count of Murder in the Second Degree and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the First Degree (a C felony).
“Cemal ‘John’ Dagdeviren was a hardworking family man whose life was tragically cut short when Joshua Roston ran him over with a GMC Yukon after stealing $22 worth of gas,” said DA Donnelly. “Rather than just pay his bill, Roston barreled John over in his SUV, dragged his body along the pavement, and quickly fled New York State. This was an unspeakable tragedy, and we are grateful to the jury for their service and their decision to convict Joshua Roston of murder. Our thoughts continue to be with John’s many family members and friends as they mourn his loss.”
DA Donnelly said that on January 14, 2019, at approximately 7:20 a.m., the defendant pulled up to the middle pump of the Pit Stop gas station located on Grand Avenue in North Baldwin and asked an attendant to fill the tank of his Black GMC sport utility vehicle.
After the attendant filled the tank with $22 worth of gas, the defendant then told the attendant that he was going to pay with a credit card inside the store instead of cash, but once in the store the defendant told the attendant that he did not want to use his card, but instead wanted to go to get money from an ATM.
During the exchange, 59-year-old Cemal “John” Dagdeviren arrived for work and took over for the attendant, after which he told the defendant that there was an ATM across the street at another gas station.
Dagdeviren exited the store with Roston, and they continued to have a discussion about paying for the gas and the location of an ATM. Instead of going to the ATM, once Dagdeviren’s back was turned for a brief moment, the defendant entered his SUV.
The defendant backed his SUV up slightly with Dagdeviren at the rear of the SUV, with the vehicle slightly touching Dagdeviren. Dagdeviren then walked around the front of the vehicle, knocked on the driver’s side window and grabbed the windshield wiper of the SUV. At that point Dagdeviren was standing directly in front of the car looking through the windshield at the defendant.
At that moment, the defendant nudged forward slightly and then quickly accelerated the vehicle and ran over Dagdeviren. The defendant and his SUV then dragged Dagdeviren’s body for several feet, killing him. The SUV could be seen bouncing twice as the front and then rear tires drove over the body of Dagdeviren.
The defendant fled the scene and eventually turned himself in to police in Philadelphia on January 18, 2019.
The defendant was additionally convicted of stealing gasoline from two other Nassau County gas stations in April 2018 and December 2018.
Deputy Bureau Chief Brian Rodriguez and Assistant District Attorney Katherine Kokotos of the Narcotics, Firearms and Gangs Bureau are prosecuting this case. Joe LoPiccolo, Esq. represents the defendant.