Central jail in downtown San Diego
The central jail on Front Street in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A transient was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of killing a 68-year-old man without provocation on New Year’s Day by pushing him into the path of an oncoming train at Old Town Transit Center.

Ryan Michael Rukstelis, 26, was taken into custody in the 2200 block of Park Boulevard in Balboa Park shortly after 3 p.m., according to the San Diego Police Department.

Rukstelis and the victim, Martin Andara of Santee, had just gotten off a southbound trolley at the Taylor Street depot about 6:15 a.m. Saturday when the suspect allegedly shoved the older man off the boarding platform and then fled, SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said.

Andara fell into the side of a passing train, suffering fatal injuries,  He died at the scene.

Police did not disclose what led detectives to identify Rukstelis, who has no permanent home address, as Andara’s alleged killer.

Rukstelis was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

City News Service contributed to this article.