Police: Good Samaritan tracked hit and run driver
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WHDH) -- Miami Beach Police credit a Good Samaritan for leading them to a suspected hit and run driver who left a man dead in the street.
Karlie Tomica, 20, is accused of striking and killing Stefano Riccioletti, executive chef at Terrazza at Shore Club on South Beach, near the Shelborne Hotel early Monday morning. She was later arrested but has since bonded out of jail.
Miami Beach Police credit a Good Samaritan for leading them to the suspected hit-and-run driver who left the pedestrian dead in the street.
Police questioned Tomica, who, they allege, struck and killed Riccioletti at about 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of 18th Street and Collins Avenue. Investigators said she was driving home from her job at a South Beach bar, when she struck the victim and took off.
Police are praising an eyewitness to the accident who followed her home and identified Tomica as having been behind the wheel of the suspected car. Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez said, "Thank goodness that there was a Good Samaritan that saw the accident, that followed the subject's vehicle all the way to her house."
Authorities arrived on scene to find the front windshield of Tomica's car smashed, and rescue crews treated her on scene before she was placed in handcuffs. Police suspect her of drinking and driving when the accident occurred. "It's a high possibility that DUI was involved here," Hernandez said.
Police said Tomica will face a minimum charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. If she is found to have been drinking during the crash, her legal troubles could be worse.
When paramedics arrived to the crash scene, they found Riccioletti, a husband and father of two, dead on the scene. The victim was once featured on 7News' segment Bite with Belkys.
Police have since released the 911 call between the Good Samaritan and a dispatcher:
Good Samaritan: "I'm actually following that car that just hit a man on Collins Avenue. As far as I know, this man, she must have killed him. You know?"
Dispatcher: "Sir, what's the address?"
Good Samaritan: "The address? I'm actually following her right now. The address must have been on... let me see."
Dispatcher: "Was this the hit and run on 18th and Collins that a car hit a person?"
Good Samaritan: "I'm following that lady right now."
Dispatcher: "You're following the subject?"
Good Samaritan: "Yes, I'm following her now. Yes."
The Shore Club issued a statement in which they expressed their condolences to Riccioletti's family and praised him as "a valued member of our team [who] will be greatly missed."