Karlie Tomica "Is Not A Horrible Person," Says Former Co-Worker

Categories: News
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Karlie Tomica is currently the most reviled person on Miami Beach. According to police, the Nikki Beach bartender and self-described "party princess" ran over chef Stefano Riccioletti outside his Collins Avenue eatery on Monday morning. As Riccioletti lay dying on the street, Tomica allegedly sped away in her car.

But a former co-worker of Tomica's says that the 20-year-old doesn't deserve the venom she's received in the week since the deadly hit-and-run.

"She's not some type of horrible person who did this on purpose," says Kristy Cumplido. "Some of the same people who are demonizing this girl are going to go out, get drunk, and drive themselves home this weekend."

The two women worked together for more than a year at a Miami hotel. Cumplido watched as Tomica, a Port St. Lucie native, got used to the Miami party scene.

Cumplido insists she isn't trying to defend her ex co-worker. Instead, she's simply disgusted with the knee-jerk reaction of news outlets more interested in vilifying Tomica than accurate reporting.

"Until all the facts are out there about her driving state and whether she was under the influence [of alcohol], people shouldn't judge her," Cumplido says. "If she was drunk, it makes her fleeing a little more understandable. If she's sober, it puts her character into question."

Cumplido says she has spoken to Tomica's fiance, who quickly deactivated Karlie's Facebook and Twitter accounts after the accident to avoid an outpouring of anger. "She is humiliated," Cumplido says of Tomica. "She feels horrible."

Cumplido says that the horrific accident has roots in Miami Beach's boozy restaurant culture. "It's a hard partying industry," she says. "Young kids come here for college and get a job at a bar or restaurant. It's such a common problem: they get DUIs and they drop out of school."

"Miami Beach is a cesspool for the bad behavior of all of these young kids," she says. "What they need is a wake-up call, not to be making fun of 'the dumb blond who hit a chef.'"

karlietomicatwitter-thumb-560x252.jpg
The message is sinking in for some, at least. Cumplido says many of her friends -- including several of Tomica's co-workers at Nikki Beach -- are having trouble sleeping since the accident. "When you work in the industry, you see how that could have been you" involved in a DUI accident, she says.

And while Tomica's good looks and naivete may have helped her get a job at Nikki Beach (despite little experience and being too young to legally serve spirits*), it has also made her a media villain.

"A lot of people are saying that she'll get off because she's a pretty blond white girl," Cumplido says. "But would reporters be chasing her if she weren't?"

Tomica has been charged with one felony count of leaving the scene of a deadly accident.

*Correction: bartenders need only be 18 years old in Florida, even when serving spirits.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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92 comments
Mitchell Ball
Mitchell Ball

As soon as as stepped in to her car she was like a loaded weapon. They should keep her in jail and not house arrest.

Ryan Batt
Ryan Batt

sad. i went to highschool with her

Adrian Jesus Kim
Adrian Jesus Kim

*and the lawsuit against her and nikki beach will range in the millions

Adrian Jesus Kim
Adrian Jesus Kim

*also, the charges against her will be modified after the toxicology reports come back

mickyvas2002
mickyvas2002

Oh sure a good person goes around and hit and runs leaves a father of two in the street to die!

AlanPro
AlanPro

Alcohol and marijuana will eventually destroy our young population. The government is tired of telling them to not drink and drive. I hope this issue is resolve so we can focus on the positive things. http://x.co/t5kO

tinahiggs221122
tinahiggs221122

until I saw the draft which was of $8555, I didn't believe ...that...my best friend woz actualie making money part time from there labtop.. there best friend had bean doing this less than ten months and as of now took care of the dept on their home and purchased a great new Honda. this is where I went, Great60.comCHECK IT OUT

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

Stop eating at restaurants?  I  had spend about 50 hours a week in one, usually 12 hour shifts.  I know this for the FACT. That busboy tubs are not  sanitized just clean water. They used same tubs that had "dirty dishes" to  put ice for customer at the bar area.The food handler aka cook's  sneezes while  handing food a for the customer ".handle raw and then touch ready to eat food with no gloves" and don't make talked about dirty towel used to clean everything . The glass cup that customer used to drink are not always clean right. Something that sort of goes unsaid is that when a restaurant gets busy, It is often difficult if not nearly impossible to maintain even the semblance of proper hygienic practices. Because the boss at the end go the shift is always  telling you hurry up you will cost me money and thing like that. Sweat dripping in food, scratching body parts then touching the food. Soggy box of frozen food and rat droppings in the storage room.   the freezer looks like a  tornado it hit what a mess, not and dirty. I saw those things, I wouldn't eat it. i forgot about the  black mole on the walls around the dishwashing machine. Then again is saw all this things going on.  i am noting going to talk about the Restaurant Server Because it going to take to long and the bartender who think they are they next movie star? Nothing Better and safer Than A Home-Cooked Meal

Joy Mitchell
Joy Mitchell

don't people know you get more time if you run, no matter what the circumstances.

melipinski
melipinski

Karlie Tomica IS a horrible person.  She KILLED someone . . . an INNOCENT someone.  "Horrible person" doesn't even begin to describe this spoiled murderous brat. 

beastieboys802000
beastieboys802000

She will ask a Judge to allow her to attend Ultra Music Fest just watch! Just like that other drunk driver killer who killed the Grandmother leaving her shift at McDonalds.

miamibeach2007
miamibeach2007

Kristy,

It seems as if you want a little media attention. You say you're not friends with her but yet you're the only one to come forward by name and defend her actions and behavior blaming it on her environment. I don't know if you're living under a rock but drugs and alcohol have been around forever. Where there is a will, there is a way. Just because heroine exists doesn't mean everyone is a heroine addict. Just because guns exist doesn't mean everyone is going to go on a shooting rampage. There are no excuses and there is a difference between right and wrong. So go back under your rock and shut up!!!

Michael Fiorellino
Michael Fiorellino

there is never an excuse to leave someone for dead like that, I don't care how drunk she was

katehiggs221122
katehiggs221122

If you think Julie`s story is incredible,, 4 weeks ago my old neighbour basically also easily made $9318 just sitting there a fourty hour month from home and there buddy's sister-in-law`s neighbour has been doing this for nine months and made over $9318 in there spare time on there pc. the instructions from this web-site,Great60.comCHECK IT OUT

kmcumplido
kmcumplido

Wow, talk about unnecessary hostility. I'm the girl quoted in the story so I want to clarify myself. My point in speaking was bc this is a horrible situation for everyone, especially the victims family. We all have made mistakes and none of us know exactly how it all happened. It is inappropriate to make assumptions and sensationalize this when she has never been in trouble and also has a family that loves her alot and is going through alot without needing this media that has no facts. I never said fleeing a hit and run is understandable. what i meant was if she is found to have been drunk, it would make it more understandable to have had such her poor judgment in not stopping. That was the biggest mistake and I do not think she is a victim. I also never said she was humiliated or anything about how anyone at Nikki beach feels. I said that she, I'm sure, feels horrible and devastated. I'm not Karlie's friend. Honestly, we didnt get along very well, but I was born with this thing called empathy. She will go through the court system as she should, but its a hesrtbreaking situation for both sides and she, not you, will have to live with this the rest of her life. act like human beings for once. When you read these stories, the person isn't always quoted in full context.

Cuco3
Cuco3

shameless plug  @Ryan Batt 

Cuco3
Cuco3

LoL @ Marijuana destroying our society. Marijuana related deaths in history: zero.  @AlanPro 

Anon
Anon

@melipinski You sound like a miserable and angry person.

Yes this was a tragedy but labeling her a horrible person doesn't do any good and is just an example of the knee jerk reaction described in this article and simplifies the issue just so people like you can feel better about yourself. Accidents happen and just because they do you don't get to feel better about yourself by lashing out and attacking the person who caused the accident.

Grow up, realize that life isn't as black and white as you'd like it to be or just shut up and stop preaching your hate. People like you are the reason this world can't progress. Always preaching hate, retribution and anger.

floggingfernie
floggingfernie

@melipinski innocent? nobody is innocent. How The hell do you know this guy didnt have any skeletons in his closet? did he deserve to die this way? absolutely not. Was he  an innocent soul? unlikely. You need to sell your soul to make it in business. 

Anon
Anon

@miamibeach2007 Actually addiction is a serious medical condition with years of academic research to back it up and doesn't break down into "right or wrong".

Life is more complicated than "right and wrong".

Your doing nothing more than showing how ignorant you are towards the subject your trying to preach about from your pulpit.

serge
serge

@miamibeach2007 heroin.

sorry, the E makes a big difference.

cbsobe
cbsobe

@miamibeach2007  

You need to learn to read better.  No where in the article does she either say she is or is not friends with Tomica.  Just a former co-worker.

Also, it's "heroin," not "heroine."

dejavu26
dejavu26

@miamibeach2007 i hope.they happen to u bc now.evryone.is perfect.. and.u never in ur life made a.bad decision.. well. Miami beach 2007 go and.take a shot.of vodka.. lol and be happy mr o miss perfect. Lol

Anon
Anon

@Michael Fiorellino Yeah because when people are drunk they are known to make rational decisions.

Grow up and realize the world isn't as black and white as you'd like it to be. Nobody in their right mind would stick around, while drunk, and just wait to be taken to jail.

The  human body actually have a physiological tool for situations like this, it's called fight or flight and it kicks in during high stress situations. Everyone has it, get over it and stop acting so self-righteous. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response

This response was later recognized as the first stage of ageneral adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.


vic_lagina
vic_lagina

@kmcumplido Assumptions? No facts? Karlie ran over and killed an innocent person then fled the scene. What other facts matter?

TechJunkie
TechJunkie

@kmcumplido

No, her biggest mistake was not fleeing the scene of her crime.  Her biggest mistake was getting behind the wheel after drinking.  Fleeing the scene just reinforces that she's a horrible person.

There is no point withholding judgement until Ms. Tomica's toxicology results are made public. If she was drunk then her actions were reprehensible.  If she was sober then her actions were reprehensible.  If you try rationalize her actions then you have to expect hostility in response.

You seem to be trying to shift blame from the individual to the "culture" of "hard partying", and that's just bullshit.  If all of your friends regularly engage in irresponsible behavior and risk innocent lives then that doesn't make it okay for you to do it too.  It was horrifying when you said that she shouldn't be judged for drinking and driving since so many people do it.  BZZZZZT, wrong answer!  What that means is that you think that it's normal and that she was just unlucky.  Which means that there are more people like her out there who just don't get it, even after having an opportunity to learn a lesson from this incident.

You're not doing Ms. Tomica or yourself any favors by acting as her de-facto spokesperson.  It would be best for you and for society if you would simply accept that drinking and driving is not okay, and that making decisions that could foreseeably result in the destruction of innocent lives is indefensible.

Only assholes drive drunk.  Don't be an asshole.  Call a damn cab.

mexkompa1
mexkompa1

@kmcumplido

Hi Karlie, I respect the fact that you posted here, that you put your face out. That is call accountability. This is what its all about. Unfortunately, we see that often people are just not accountable for their actions. All these rich spoiled brats and cute princess that grew up with all their wimps and wishes fullfilled, use to have their way and to get everything they want, be a car, a job, a lay, whatever, feeling entitled and untochable, arrogant and selfserving and very selfish. Its the kids we are turning out. Ivanna Villanueva, Karlie, you; all seem to be cut with the same mold. There is simply not accountability. That is why people get so mad with you, that is why I got so mad with you.

You come out to clarify yet kept on the same route. All your points are easily debatable. So if she was drunk it made it more understandable the poor judgment you arguee. Yet she had the clarity of mind to try to get her chaser lost by manuvering her car. Witness account. Fact proved. Enough clarity to made it to her place and hand the keys to valet. Nobody knows how it happened, you arguee. Yes, we know. She was drinking, took her wheel, run over a person, did not stop, try to flee, refuse to cooperate with police. Nobody is making assumptions. She fled. She was drinking. She drove. A man is dead.

The media has all facts. Its just to be confirmed how drunk she was. Police already said she refuse a sobriety test (I wonder why), witness who follow her already said she was drunk, Police already said she had blurred speech and smelled of alcohol. The fact that she was never in trouble before doesn’t mean a thing. It proves what we all know, that she is not a criminal, but a regular neighboard girl, who goes to college and holds a job. A girl who unfortunately and sadely made a huge mistake, like 3 times in a night. About how anyone at Nikki beach feels nikki beach can go and fuck themselves as far as I am concern. They have yet to say a word, miserable rats, and the dead man was an industry guy, a chef.

If you were born with this thing called empathy you should had already show some of it towards that family who lost him, a wife and two young children. Again, still you have not said a word about him, his name, or his kids or family, vaya, not even condolences.

It seems like its you who need to act like a human being for once. If instead of coming out you and her friends to try to justify the facts, just simply show some accountability and regret I bet you the slash will be a third of what it is. Because we all know, this is a tragedy, we all know she did not meant it, we all know the thought of harming a human being never crossed her mind, we all know she must be feeling horrible, we all know it.

The best thing she can do and you guys its to own it and to try to make the best of it by serving as an example and by inspiring others to avoid what she unfortunatelly is going through. I like in your interview when you talked about that and the risk that are there in an industry where is prohibited in every restaurant to drink on the job but still it happens

I like that part.

I personally feel very sad about Chef and his family, also I feel very sad for Karlie and her family. It is an absolute tragedy all around. Two families destroyed; a young girl to have to live the rest of her life with such a weight. It hurts, pains, its something I would not wish on anyone. Its terrified. I can only imagine Karlie miserable, impotent, sad and dispaired; she must be; a tragic moment when all the angles met at the wrong time while she in the middle of it. Its so unfortunate, sad, tragic, terrible, painful to the max.Believe me, I don’t hate or demonize her, I actually feel really bad about what happened to her. The best she can do its to own her actions and to answer life’s call best she can, to use this tragedy to prevent further other. You can tell her that she will be on my prayers and her family and friends as well. I hope God give bless them and give them comfort.

I apologize to you for my language and for insults. I do not justify myself. It was not appropiate, in special you are a lady and it was uncalled for. I am sorry. I wish you well and a nice life. Now you know what to do and how to spread the word and to tell your friends to think twice before they get on the wheel drunk.

And about Chef Stefano Riccioletti, 49 may God bless his soul, may God have him in peace. Chef your two kids will be look for and your passing is going to help to make changes, others life will be spare because of your sacrifice. Rest in peace Chef, Bon appetite!!!!!!!!!! May Lord bless his wife, his family, his kids, her friends, and give them peace, understanding, forgiveness, deliverance. Oh my God, just a tragedy all around. God bless you all. Peace.

miamibeach2007
miamibeach2007

@kmcumplido

She should feel more than "horrible" by the way.

defy.convention
defy.convention

@Anon yeah, let's soothe her whiny tears as punishment for murder...NOT!  If she had done this to MY husband she would never have made it to her second hearing, I promise you. I'm so SICK of seeing her spoiled brat face crying her "woe is me" tears...and we WILL celebrate when her narcissistic ass is sitting in jail...THEN she'll be crying REAL tears when she has to become someone's bitch. Oh, and an FYI, it wasn't an ACCIDENT that she got behind the wheel of that car after ingesting that much alcohol...it wasn't even CLOSE to the legal limit!  Not preaching hate, just common sense.

andrem.broussard
andrem.broussard

@floggingfernie 
Stefano was an innocent victim in this situation.  I do know him.  I worked for him, drank with him, loved him.  Those of us that knew him are devastated.  And now this failure of a human being is getting a plead deal.  there is no justice.

HGmax
HGmax

@dejavu26 from the way you type as if you're texting or tweeting, and the fact you're defending this vapid blonde moron weeping inthe mugshot, I assume you're a little snot nosed party princess aren't you? let me guess, 23 or 24, female, white American girl? Please grow up...

miamibeach2007
miamibeach2007

@dejavu26 @dejavu26 I've made lots of bad decisions but i can honestly say i have never killed a person. It doesn't take a perfect person to have a heart and fucking stop when you hit someone. You are a piece of shit. Go back to where you came from. This is America and clearly you can barely speak English, so your opinion to me means absolutely nothing. If you want to sound like you have some credibility go back to school and get an education you fucking dumbass!!! Enough said... Quit commenting, with every misspelled word and grammar error you are just making your opinion sound less valid by showing how stupid you truly are.

Anon
Anon

@vic_lagina @kmcumplido Actually life is a lot more complicated than just that and you know it.

Get off your pulpit and stop acting so self-righteous. 

Karlie got drunk and drove home. Like millions and millions of other humans do on a daily basis. Karlie is no different than any of those people. It's human nature, it's gonna happen, just like accidents like this one will happen.

Get over it and stop your quest for blood. Living means you will die and it means accepting that accidents can and will occur to you and your loved ones. 

It's part of the risk we all accept while we are alive whether we like it or not. Causing more damage and more suffering will only make the situation worse. Accept it and move on.

Cuco3
Cuco3

@TechJunkie wrote: "Only assholes drive drunk.  Don't be an asshole.  Call a damn cab."

I'm saying!


The girl has money, a boyfriend, and friends. Call up a cab or call her boyfriend or friends to pick her up. And shame on her friends for justifying her irrational decisions. Hey B----: if you're such a friend, where were you to help out your friend that night? Obviously she doesn't care if her friends drive drunk, that much is true.

cbsobe
cbsobe

@mexkompa1 @kmcumplido 

What a contemptible, judgmental diatribe!!!  It went on for far too long. 

You summed it up best:  

"I apologize to you for my language and for insults. I do not justify myself. It was not appropiate, in special you are a lady and it was uncalled for."

 It took you until the end of your diatribe to realize that, however.

Cuco3
Cuco3

Great point @mickyvas2002. We don't know about Stefano's private life, but accusations on the internet that he may have not been a good guy never justifies a hit-and-run DUI. Some people will try to justify anything. Karlie Tomica took a life while under the influence of alcohol. Fact.

Anon
Anon

@HGmax @dejavu26@HGmax And what would it matter if the poster was a 24 year old white female from America? 


What is it you believe about  24 year old white American Females that you feel so negatively about their opinions and you feel so superior to them that you think they need to grow up?

You sound like a typical privileged 40 - 50 something year old white male living in American who probably couldn't pass a basic intelligence aptitude test filled with anger and self-righteousness. 

Cuco3
Cuco3

How could you ever wish for a person to kill someone? You're an abomination. @dejavu26 

HGmax
HGmax

@dejavu26 You hope he "kills someone"...yuo have to be the most immature moron to ever post anything on any message board in the history of the internet. 

HGmax
HGmax

@cbsobe @miamibeach2007 you're going to correct one typo in defensdeof Dejavu who types like a 12 year old girl on crack? Seriously? 

cbsobe
cbsobe

@miamibeach2007  

 People in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks...

Your own grammar is called into question.  It's "heroin," not "heroine."

dejavu26
dejavu26

@miamibeach2007 ok mr. Perfect ... I hope u kill someone . Just by mistake so u will know ... Who is the feeling.....

vic_lagina
vic_lagina

@Anon While I do not argue that a lot of people drive drunk every day that has nothing to do with your little party princess. I also agree that accidents happen every day. I suspect that your party princess ran over her victim accidentally. What was not an accident was her fleeing the scene. That is unacceptable. Last week I ran over a dog while on the way home from work. It was 3:00a.m. and nobody saw me. I stopped, got the dog's address from the tag, and went to talk to the dog's owner about what I did. I paid for it's medical care as well as it's rehab. That is what a decent human being does for a dog. Now compare that to what your little princess did to a human. 

TechJunkie
TechJunkie

@cbsobe @TechJunkie

 @cbsobe @TechJunkie 

This is indeed all about moral judgement.

About Ms. Tomica's immoral failure to exercise judgement when she got behind the wheel and drove drunk through an area thick with pedestrians.

About her failure to make the moral judgement call when she was looking at that head-shaped indentation in her windshield.  

And in the case of Ms. Cumplido blaming the service industry culture, it's about a person's individual responsibility to judge the standard practices of a group, rather than using, "everybody does it", or "I was just following orders", as an excuse for immoral acts.

mexkompa1
mexkompa1

@Anon You are so pathetic hilarious. I read all your post. You came in like a torpedo telling everyone "your true" and how things are not white and black and some other stupid shit. Basically defending your princess friend and JUSTIFYING her actions. Like I said before, ALL her friends are cut with the same mold. ITS NEVER YOUR FUCKING FAULT. Its always something else. YOU HAVE A FREAKING IDEA WHAT THE WORLD BEING ACCOUNTABLE MEANS. Yeah, fuck off, more insults added and if you don't like it, well fuck yourself. Idiot. I am sick of your stupid comments.

Anon
Anon

@mexkompa1 @cbsobe That's funny, telling somebody else to act civil after letting loose a tirade of insults. 

Do you people screaming for blood even read and comprehend what your typing sometimes or are you just foaming at the mouth, furiously typing away behind your monitor?

Warrbarrgarrgglelee I'm angry and perfect wrrarrr this person is horrible, I never do anything wrong, anyone defending her is a horrible person, feel my wrath wrarrgarblle the world only operates in the finite way that I see it blah blah blah

mexkompa1
mexkompa1

@cbsobe I had delete a previous post in reply to you so you know how I feel about you. I strongly advice you to not even answer me. First, it was written and addressed to K Cumplido. So you are a noisy, typical of your crowd whom doesn't know right from wrong. Second, you did not have to read it. If it was too long, why read it? Third, I read all your post, and all you had to say about this tragedy is to judge people for their reading skills or their grammar or writing style. That is what you came here for. OH and to defend your friend with your idiotic points. All you party slobs are really doing a big disservice to Karlie T by posting your crap. It has just become evident the type of people these girl was friend with. Best you can to do is just to shut up and start showing some accountability, manners, education, civility. Its funny that you come here to say not to judge her but yet you judge everyone. slob, rat. I advice you not to answer me. Done.

HGmax
HGmax

@cbsobe are you a party princess too? I assume you are because you are defending this moron (il ove all the young party girls on here defending the manslaughtering party girl and her dumbass friend). Actually, I can tell you're a party girl because the word "Sobe" is in your username. 

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