The heartbroken widow of popular South Beach chef Stefano Riccioletti, who was killed in a horrific hit-and-run accident last month, has exclusively told Radaronline.com she is struggling to come to terms with her husband’s tragic death.
“I’m taking it one day at a time,” an emotional Patrizia Pesce tells Radar.
“There is a lot going on." the mother-of-two added, when asked about her children. "We have to keep going."
Pesce’s 49-year-old husband was struck and killed on January 28, outside of the Shelborne Hotel in Miami Beach, near the Shore Club where he worked.
As Radaronline.com previously reported, Karlie Tomica, who described herself as a ‘Miami Beach Party Princess Livin’ the Dream’ on her Twitter page, is accused of driving with a staggering .225 blood alcohol level , which is three times the legal limit, and running Riccioletti over.
Police say Tomica, 20, was driving a 2007 Dodge Charger when she plowed into Riccioletti and kept driving. He died at the scene.
Karlie was heading home from her job at local hotspot Nikki Beach, where she is employed as a part-time bartender when the accident happened.
On Friday, Tomica looked distraught as she appeared in a Miami-Dade courtroom to face four charges, including DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving death, DUI property damage, and resisting arrest without violence.
The eyewitness who placed the initial 911 call was also in court and described Tomica as being “really drunk” at the time.
According to documents presented by prosecutors, another eyewitness tried to get Tomica to stop, and when she wouldn’t, followed her car and also called 911. Tomica “actively evaded and even made U-turns to attempt to lose the car following her.” Instead, she drove to her apartment building, and handed the keys to her car to the building’s valet.
It was, says the prosecutor, a “battered, bloody and flesh smattered vehicle.”
Police officers arrived at the building only minutes later, and say they found the self-proclaimed party girl, smelling of alcohol, slurring her words, and with bits of the victim's flesh in her hair.
Earlier this month, Baez filed a 16-page civil complaint on behalf of Pesce against Tomica, Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts, Penrod Brothers, and Nikki Beach Special Events, who were all listed as defendants.
The lawsuit claims management at Nikki Beach club allowed Tomica to drink alcohol while on the job as a bartender even though she is underage.
Riccioletti’s oldest son has also filed a separate lawsuit which claims the management at Nikki Beach allowed Tomica to drink on the job as a bartender even though she is underage.
Tomica was released Friday night on $77,000 bond and is being held under house arrest wearing a GPS ankle monitor.
She's scheduled to return to court February 27 to enter her plea.
Karlie’s attorney Mark Shapiro, told Radar, "Ms. Tomica and her family are emotionally devastated over such a horrific accident and the loss of Mr. Riccioletti's life."