Good Samaritan: 'I said you have to stop'
Police: Karlie Tomica hit, killed Stefano Riccioletti, drove away
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Good Samaritan recalled the moment he saw a woman hit a Miami Beach chef and then drive away.
"She looked at me, we made eye contact, and I said, 'You have to stop. You have to stop,' and she kept going," said Jairo Fuentes.
Karlie Tomica, 20 posted a $10,000 bond and left jail late Monday. She is charged with leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death.
The crash happened outside the Shelborne Hotel about 6 a.m. Monday. The victim was identified as Stefano Riccioletti, the executive chef at Terrazza at the Shore Club.
"All of a sudden, I saw this car come in quite fast. I saw a guy flying in the air. I stopped for a second and I saw him fall on the floor," said Fuentes. "I sped up and I catch up with this car."
"She didn't stop?" asked Local 10's Ben Kennedy.
"No. She kept going," replies Fuentes.
Riccioletti was killed when Tomica hit him with her car and left the scene, police said. Riccioletti was crossing the street when he was hit.
"This person not only saw what happened, they followed the car, they did a play-by-play to the 911 operator," said Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez. "We were able to locate the vehicle and place her in custody."
"Someone got hit by a car," said one caller. "It was a loud bang. It was a loud bang."
The impact was so strong it threw him several feet onto the hotel's driveway.
According to the police report, Tomica refused a field sobriety test, but blood was drawn after her arrest.
Tomica could face more charges once toxicology test results come back. Police noted she appeared drunk on the arrest report.
On Tomica's Twitter page, she described herself as "Party Princess Miami Beach Livin the dream." Her Facebook page said she is from Port St. Lucie and attended Florida International University but left after one year.
According to a police report, Tomica said she worked as a bartender at Nikki Beach. Management there offered no comment on her arrest.
Both her Twitter and Facebook accounts have since been disabled.
Tomica is scheduled to be arraigned in February.
Riccioletti, a father of three, was born in Rome. He began working at the Terrazza about two years ago. He previously worked in New York.
"It's just not right that you are playing with people's lives," said Fuentes.
On Monday afternoon, The Shore Club released the following statement about Riccioletti: "Our thoughts and prayers are with this family during this difficult time. He was a valued member of our team and will be greatly missed."
Victor Padilla, the sous chef at Terrazza, moved from New York to South Beach with Riccioletti. Padilla spoke with Local 10's Christina Vazquez Tuesday about Riccioletti.
"There was nothing else that existed to him. I mean, it was just work and family," said Padilla. "(He) was unlike anything you'd ever seen. He was a beast. (It) is the best way to describe him. And that answers your question, why we always called him 'chef,' because he was never off."
Padilla added that Riccioletti was called into work on Monday, his usual day off.
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