The man killed by an alleged drunk driver Tuesday was a well-known panhandler who had lived on the same South of Market streets where he died for two decades, according to those who remember him.
Modesto Fegurdo, 61, was a beloved fixture outside the bars and nightclubs along 11th Street until a black Toyota Prius took him out shortly before midnight at Ninth and Howard streets. The suspected driver, 40-year-old Allan Quiton, is accused of fleeing the scene and being under the influence of alcohol.
Locals have since built a shrine of beer cans and bottles of alcohol around the cardboard box, blankets and broom he left behind near 11th Street and Folsom streets. Fegurdo was known for drinking anything but water.
“He had the constitution of a cockroach,” said Butter bar owner Vlad Cood, who would call hospitals in search of Fegurdo when he went missing from 11th Street. “I didn’t think anything could kill him.”
Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a police spokesperson, said Quiton was driving a Prius on Howard Street toward Ninth Street when he hit Fegurdo.
“After the collision the suspect fled the scene making no attempt to stop or render aid to the victim,” Andraychak said in an email.
A witness driving behind him saw the collision and followed the Prius. The witness called 911 and gave police the license plate number.
Police caught up to the Prius and arrested Quiton at 25th and Connecticut streets in Potrero Hill following a pursuit.
Jail records show Quiton was booked on suspicion of five felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, driving under the influence causing injury and evading an officer with willful disregard.
He is being held on $825,000 bail.
Cood said Fegurdo came to San Francisco from Cuba, possibly through Mexico, about 30 years ago and first lived in the Mission District.
He would sleep in doorways along 11th Street, often underneath a walker so that no one would step on him or hit him with a bicycle.
“He always have a good smile and a good nature about him,” Cood said. “He had his broom and he would sweep the sidewalks because that was how he retained some dignity.”
Russell Wilson, a regular in the nightlife scene along 11th Street, said Fegurdo would watch cars for people as auto burglaries grew rampant in The City.
“You knew your car was safe if he was out there,” Wilson said. “He did what he could to help people out when he could.”
Butter plans to dedicate a bench outside the bar to him with a plaque. Inside, Cood said he will mount a broom in his honor.
Butter is scheduled to host a benefit for Fegurdo on Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The proceeds will be for a still undetermined local homeless shelter. The bar is located at 354 11th St.
“He had an attitude to him, but he was beloved,” Wilson said.
The District Attorney’s Office has not yet decided whether to press charges against Quiton.