SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A 20-year-old woman wanted in the 2017 fatal hit-and-run of famed San Francisco grocery store owner Konstantinos “Gus” Vardakastanis has been arrested by U.S. Marshals in Stockton, authorities said.
Vardakastanis, who founded and operated a group of local stores including Gus’s Community Market, was fatally struck while crossing the road at Toland and Jerrold Streets in the early morning hours of September 22, 2017.
Eleasia Fraise was arrested on July 16th and was was being transferred to San Francisco County jail on a warrant for hit-and-run with injury, gross vehicular manslaughter, arson, and conspiracy (all felonies) and driving without a license (misdemeanor).
Police said investigators were finally able to follow up on some good leads.
“They pop up sometimes right after the incident, sometimes they don’t pop up until much later but we had the good fortune of getting some leads in this case and it did lead to an arrest in this incident,” said SFPD officer Adam Lobsinger.
“These on-going investigations take a lot out, but at the same time – it’s very rewarding to see at least some conclusion and some resolution to these cases,” said Lobsinger. “There’s so many but we do take time to make sure we see everyone through to the end.”
Michael Janis, an employee at San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, said Vardakastanis’ death has left many of the vendors stunned.
“We’re all in mourning,” said Janis at the time of the crash. “He was a very important part of the fabric of the market and of the whole food community in San Francisco.”
Vardakastanis and his family have owned and run local markets for over 30 years ever since opening Haight-Ashbury Produce in 1981.
While an arrest has been made, anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD 24 hour tip line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.