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Son Tries Unsuccessfully To Stop His Father’s Killer

January 6, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ A son who happened to be driving by saw a group of muggers punch his mother and fatally shoot his father, authorities said. He chased the get-away car, but was unable to stop his father’s killer, police said.

Leonid Vinokur, 48, and his wife, Bella, were leaving a birthday party at a restaurant in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn early Sunday when three men demanded money.

Vinokur’s 19-year-old son, Igor, happened to be driving by with a friend and saw the mugging, authorities said. He told police his parents’ resisted and one of the men punched his mother in the face, knocking out a tooth.

He said his father, enraged, punched one of the attackers in the stomach.

″My father tried to defend her and he hit them back,″ Vinokur said outside the family home Sunday night. ″At that point they pulled a gun and shot him.″ The elder Vinokur was shot in the face.

Watching in horror, Vinokur first ran to his father’s side, not realizing he was mortally wounded. Then he jumped into his car and followed the muggers. He rammed into the rear driver’s side of their car, forcing them to flee on foot, said Sgt. Steven Sheehan.

The car had been reported stolen a day earlier, said Sgt. Ed Burns. No arrests were made as of Monday, police said.

A carpenter by trade, Vinokur emigrated from Odessa in the former Soviet Union 10 years ago. He worked for a construction company.

″He was a very happy person here,″ said Michael Tartakovsky, a family friend.

″He came here to find a better life,″ said Alex Goldenberg, a cousin. ″This is what you get in this city.″

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