Man pleads not guilty to killing 68-year-old at Old Town trolley station

Local

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A transient accused of killing a 68-year-old man on New Year’s Day by pushing him into the path of an oncoming train at Old Town Transit Center pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.

Ryan Michael Rukstelis, 26, is accused in the death of Santee resident Martin Andara, who police said was pushed by Rukstelis and fell into the side of a passing train. He died at the scene.

According to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown, the victim had just gotten off a southbound trolley and was walking on the platform when Rukstelis pushed him into an oncoming train “without provocation.”

Rukstelis was arrested three days later in the 2200 block of Park Boulevard in Balboa Park shortly after 3 p.m., according to police.

He remains in custody without bail following his Friday morning arraignment.

Though Rukstelis’ attorney, Denis Lainez, did not contest his client’s bail status, Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello asked for him to continue to be held without bail in the interest of public safety.

The prosecutor described the alleged killing as a “random, sudden and unprovoked attack on a completely innocent 68-year-old victim who was just on his way to work that morning.”

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