SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The man accused of pushing another person into an oncoming train at the Old Town trolley station is set to appear in court Friday.
Police arrested 26-year-old Ryan Rukstelis this week for the murder of 68-year-old Martin Andara at the trolley station on New Year's Day. Police said Rukstelis pushed Andara in front of an oncoming train after Andara had just exited a trolley.
Rukstelis pleaded not guilty to one charge of murder on Friday. He faces 25 years to life in prison, and is being held without bail.
Andara worked at a local Ralphs grocery store and was a popular fixture at the location. His friends and family described him as a good person, friend, co-worker, and someone who was always willing to help and offer kind words.
"He sent me a text message 3 days before he passed away and we were supposed to get together. He said, 'don't worry if it doesn't work out, we can get together any time.' That's the last text I have to read from him ... anytime," one friend told ABC 10News on Thursday night near a memorial for Andara.
San Diego Police said MTS cameras around the city played a big role in tracking down Rukstelis, described by authorities as a transient.
"That allowed us to not only find out the suspect but clearly identify our suspect, and then I believe 36 hours from when the time he was identified locating him in the Balboa Park area," said SDPD Chief David Nisleit.