Fentanyl Overdose Leads to Manslaughter Arrest
NEWS RELEASE 21-007 - FEBRUARY 17, 2021
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office charged a Venice man with Manslaughter following a May 2020 overdose.
Deputies responded to the report of an unconscious man lying in the caller’s front yard along Fray Street in Englewood, just before 6:30 a.m., on May 28, 2020. Responding paramedics pronounced the victim deceased shortly after their arrival. Investigation revealed the victim was released from the county’s correctional facility only six hours prior, after serving more than two months behind bars on drug charges. Detectives learned that upon the victim’s release from custody, he was picked up by Cristos Karamitsos, DOB 07/31/76. According to Karamitsos, the duo visited two convenience stores on their way to Karamitsos’ Venice home. Karamitsos also told detectives the victim disappeared for approximately 15 minutes behind the second gas station before the two made it to Venice. Investigation further revealed Karamitsos entered his home and left the victim in his vehicle for several hours. Karamitsos later returned to find the victim “stiff” and barely conscious. Rather than dialing 911, Karamitsos drove the victim to his mother’s house where surveillance video captured Karamitsos pulling the victim from his vehicle and leaving him in the front yard. When the victim’s mother and uncle dialed 911 and began initiating CPR efforts, Karamitsos fled the scene.
Karamitsos and the victim were friends for many years, had consumed drugs together, and served behind bars at the same time. Karamitsos was also aware the victim underwent bypass surgery due to heart damage related to drug abuse. Upon the Medical Examiner’s autopsy and toxicology reports, it was determined the victim died from Intoxication by Fentanyl. The victim’s name is not being released in accordance with Marsy’s Law.
On Tuesday while deputies attempted to take Karamitsos into custody, he was seen tossing several syringes and a spoon commonly associated with narcotics use, out of his car. He was taken into custody and booked into the correctional facility where he faces a single count of Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence, Possession of Narcotic Equipment, and Destruction of Evidence. He remains in custody today without bond.
Karamitsos has more than a dozen local arrests for crimes including Domestic Battery, Fleeing to Elude, and several drug charges.
“This is one of several arrests we have made over the past few years as the direct result of an opioid overdose,” commented Sheriff Hoffman. “Gone are the days of willful ignorance. Addiction is a disease and anyone who provides these fatal drugs or facilitates their use should assume they will be held fully accountable for their actions.”