Chicago — A Florida man has been sentenced to “second chance probation” for allegedly making a series of phone and online threats against Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
David Kariotis, 48, pleaded guilty to filing a false report, which was reduced from threatening a public official, in a plea deal before Judge Steven Watkins on February 6, according to court records. Successful completion of the two-year second chance probation sentence results in the dismissal of charges under Illinois law.
Prosecutors charged Kariotis one year ago after an interstate investigation led police to his hometown near Tampa.
The series of events began on November 19, 2021, when Kariotis called Chicago’s 311 system and asked to file a complaint against Lightfoot, prosecutors said during his initial bail hearing.
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, he allegedly did threaten her: “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.”
Kariotis called 311 again and specifically asked for Lightfoot’s phone number, according to prosecutors. Then, Kariotis suggested that he already had the mayor’s number and wanted to know why she wouldn’t answer his calls.
Kariotis also sent an email from his personal account to the mayor’s email address, saying: “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.”
Last year, prosecutors said Lightfoot “feels apprehension of future harm” due to the threats she received.
Pinellas County, Fla., detectives assisted Chicago police with the case. Kariotis left voicemail messages for the police during the investigation, and the voices on those messages “seem to match” the voice on Chicago’s 311 recordings, prosecutors said. Florida investigators linked Kariotis to the phone number used to make the threats against Lightfoot.
Kariotis was charged one week after prosecutors accused another man of stalking Lightfoot to protest parking tickets. Joseph Igartua, 38, pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm for allegedly firing a handgun in an alley about a mile from Lightfoot’s home as undercover cops surveilled him. Igartua, who was a concealed carry holder, was not convicted of any wrongdoing against Lightfoot.