A Florida man made a series of threats against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after a city 311 operator told him he had to file his complaints about the mayor online, prosecutors said Thursday.
Lightfoot “feels apprehension of future harm” due to the threats, prosecutors said.
David Kariotis, 47, of the Tampa area, is charged with threatening a public official. He surrendered to Chicago police Wednesday, said Frank Himel, his private defense attorney.
The series of events leading up to this week’s charges began on November 19 when Kariotis called Chicago’s 311 system and asked to file a complaint against Lightfoot, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.
When the operator suggested that Kariotis submit his concerns via a city website, he allegedly replied, “What if I threaten her?”
A few seconds later, Kalliantasis alleged, he did: “I’m going to deal with this f*cking piece of sh*t c*nt myself. Tell the mayor she needs to watch her back because I’m coming for her.”
He called 311 again and specifically asked for Lightfoot’s phone number, according to Kalliantasis. Then, Kariotis suggested that he already had the mayor’s number and wanted to know why she wouldn’t answer his calls, Kalliantasis continued.
Kariotis also sent an email from his personal account to the mayor’s email address, Kalliantasis said: “I hope you get ALS and die. You are a piece of sh*t. You are a disgrace and you need to commit suicide. You are a racist piece of sh*t and your white wife looks like feces. I hope you die, you racist piece of sh*t. You are a disgrace and please kill yourself.”
Pinellas County, Fla., detectives assisted CPD with the case. Kariotis left voicemail messages for police during the investigation, and the voices on those messages “seem to match” the voice on Chicago’s 311 recordings, Kalliantasis said. He added that Florida investigators contacted Kariotis via the same phone number used to make the threats against Lightfoot.
Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $25,000, the same amount that another judge set when they signed an arrest warrant in the case. She ordered Kariotis to have no contact with Lightfoot when he gets out of jail by posting a 10% deposit bond.
Thursday’s court hearing was the second time a week that prosecutors filed charges in connection with Lightfoot’s safety.
Last Thursday, prosecutors accused Joseph Iguartua of repeatedly going to Lightfoot’s home to protest mounting parking ticket fines. Iguartua, a licensed concealed carry holder, was armed during some of the visits, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Police arrested Igartua last Wednesday after allegedly firing shots from his truck about a mile from her residence.
Murphy said that Lightfoot “became alarmed and distraught” when she learned of the man’s repeated visits to her home.
Igartua is being held without bail.