Vigil honors man killed by hit-and-run driver over $22 in gas

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH HEMPSTEAD -

A vigil Tuesday night honored a Levittown man who police say was killed by a hit-and-run driver skipping out on $22 worth of gas.

There's been an outpouring of grief since Cemal Dagdeviren's death Monday morning. The 59-year-old mechanic and gas station manager was killed after police say a man tried to steal a $22 tank of fuel.

Nassau detectives say Dagdeviren was trying to stop the man from leaving the Pit Stop gas station in South Hempstead by standing in front of the SUV. He was then run over. Many loyal customers like Liz Boylan came by the station Tuesday with flowers.

MORE: Police: Driver in deadly hit-and-run skipped out on $22 gas bill

Ali Dagdeviren says his father was not supposed to be working the gas pumps Monday and was filling in for a co-worker. He says his father was a hardworking immigrant who brought his family to Long Island 20 years ago.

"It's crazy for, you know, people killing each other for $22," he says. "I mean, that's ridiculous. We just need justice, we have to find his guy."

Police describe the suspect as a tall black man in his 30s who has dreadlocks and was wearing an orange hat at the time. They say he was driving a dark-colored GMC SUV with no license plates and a broken headlight.

Pit Stop owner Mark Polak says he's matching the $5,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information that leads to an arrest. That number is 1-800-244-TIPS.

Family and friends say they hope the increased reward, plus the surveillance video of the suspect, will now lead to his capture.

The memorial outside the gas station had been growing all day Tuesday. Many described Dagdeviren as a caring family man who was quiet, kind and always willing to help those in need.

Dagdeviren's family says his funeral will be held on Wednesday.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."