SOUTH VENICE — A South Venice man is facing charges of homicide, among other charges, after one of his longtime friends died of a fentanyl overdose.
Cristos Dimitrios Karamitsos, 44, 4400 block of Yacht Club Drive, allegedly left the overdose victim in the front yard of the victim’s mother’s home in Englewood — where the victim’s uncle and victim’s mother found him early in the morning, barely alive.
Karamitsos was tracked down Tuesday after being wanted on an outstanding warrant for manslaughter by culpable negligence, according to a probable cause affidavit involving his Tuesday afternoon arrest.
Karamitsos is being charged with homicide, negligent manslaughter: killing a human other than by murder or homicide. He was also arrested on charges of possession of drug equipment, along with one count of destroying, altering, concealing or doctoring physical evidence.
The arrest comes after the May 28 overdose of a man found lying on Fray Street in Englewood, according to a news release from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim in this case had been longtime friends with Karamitsos and had just been released six hours earlier from Sarasota County Jail after serving about two months on dug charges.
Karamitsos had picked him up at the jail, the news release notes.
“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,” it states.
The investigators said Karamitsos went inside his home and left the victim in a car “for several hours.”
Karamitsos later found the victim “stiff” and barely conscious, the news release states.
“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,” it said. “When the victim’s mother and uncle dialed 911 and began initiating CPR efforts, Karamitsos fled the scene.”
The victim and Karamitsos had done drugs together in the past and served time together as well. The victim had also undergone bypass surgery due to drug abuse heart damage, which Karamitsos knew, the news release states.
The Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy and toxicology reports determined the victim died of Fentanyl overdose.
A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputy conducting surveillance tracked him driving north in a Nissan Altima about 4:06 p.m. Tuesday along State Road 776 near Wentworth Street.
As the officer attempted to pull over the car, he said he witnessed Karamitsos “throw what appeared to be syringes out of the driver’s-side window near onto State Road 776 at Flamingo Road.
He pulled over onto Blossom Road where he stopped in front of a residence and “was taken into custody without further incident.”
Another deputy found three syringes and a spoon near the Flamingo Road crosswalk with what appeared to be narcotic residue on it, authorities said.
His arraignment is March 26.
“This is one of several arrests we have made over the past few years as the direct result of an opioid overdose,” Sheriff Kurt Hoffman said in the news release. “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.”