Cops: Driver in hit-and-run had BAC 3x legal limit

Karlie Tomica charged in Stefano Riccioletti's death

Published On: Feb 12 2013 12:26:49 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 13 2013 11:09:32 AM EST
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -

The driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run of a Miami Beach chef had a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit, say Miami Beach police.

Karlie Tomica, 20, is charged in Stefano Riccioletti's death. She posted $10,000 bond on Jan. 28 after she was charged with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death.

Last week, an attorney representing Stefano Riccioletti's 19-year-old son Jacopo Riccioletti filed a wrongful death complaint against Tomica and Penrod Brothers, Inc., the owner of Nikki Beach Club.

"I can honestly say I was not particularly surprised given the witness accounts," said Elisabeth Culmo with Silva & Silva, the law firm that filed the wrongful death complaint.

Police credited a Good Samaritan who called 911 and followed the car that hit Riccioletti with helping them make an arrest. He told police he saw a car hit Riccioletti on18th Street and Collins Avenue.

According to a police report, Tomica said she worked as a bartender at Nikki Beach Club in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood.

"It shocks the conscience that she was able to walk out the door of Nikki Beach, (and) check out of her shift in a condition that would have suggested she was stumbling and slurring her words," said Culmo.

Julie Fogel, the public relations and communications director for Nikki Beach issued a statement Tuesday, saying: “Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Stefano Riccioletti and our hearts go out to his children. The principals of Penrod Brothers, Inc have been in business for well over 40 years, have had thousands of employees around the world and have never had a situation like this. Karlie Tomica was hired as a part-time bartender in mid-November 2012 and came with 4 years of experience in the hospitality industry; first at Palm City Grill (Palm City, Florida) and for the past 2 years as a cocktail server at Hyatt Regency Miami’s bar & lounge, Pure Verde, where she is still employed. Tomica signed all documents stating she would adhere to the strict policies that all employees must agree to. We have no further comment at this time.”

Tomica is expected to be charged with DUI manslaughter. Culmo said the toxicology report also impacts the wrongful death complaint.

"It does add also an element of punitive damages in this case because when you rise to the level of reckless disregard for human life, this clearly meets that bar," she said.

Tomica is expected back in court on Friday.

Riccioletti was the executive chef at Terrazza at the Shore Club.