‘Mommy, I Stabbed Him Because I Thought He Was Going To Kill You’: Girl, 11, Rescues Mom From Abusive Uncle, Authorities Say

Panagiotis Karamanlis was allegedly throttling his sister with punches to the face when his 11-year-old niece picked up a pair of scissors and used them as a makeshift shank.

By Dorian Geiger
Panagiotis Karamanlis

An 11-year-old girl in Pinellas County, Florida jammed a pair of scissors into her uncle’s back for laying a savage beating on the child’s mother, authorities say.

The girl, who witnessed a verbal confrontation between her mother and uncle spiral into violence, grabbed a pair of scissors and twice stabbed him in the family’s home — potentially saving her mom's life, authorities said.

Panagiotis Karamanlis, 44, has since been charged with child abuse and domestic battery. He is the brother of the girl's mother.

“The victim attempted to protect [her] mother by picking up the scissors and stabbed [Karamanlis] twice in the back,” an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com states. 

The young girl, who officials say “had a well-founded fear that [her] mother was going to be murdered,” acted quickly and weaponized the pair of scissors in a desperate attempt to rescue her mother.

“Mommy, I stabbed him because I thought he was going to kill you,” the girl told her mother, authorities say.

The berserk altercation unfolded shortly before midnight on Aug. 17. Authorities say Karamanlis, who lives with his sister, was arguing with his sibling over text messages she had allegedly received from her boyfriend. 

“The argument became physical when [Karamanlis] pulled the victim by the hair, pulled her person to the ground, and began to deliver fist punches to the victim’s face as he was pulling the victim’s hair as he was on top of her, keeping her down on the ground,” the arrest affidavit states. 

“Don’t do this in front of the kids,” the mother reportedly yelled at her brother, but the scuffle continued until the 11-year-old intervened with her makeshift shank. 

Karamanlis allegedly confessed to authorities that the fight with his sibling had become physical, but denied punching her in the face. 

“The victim does have physical bruising on her entire face that are visible,” the affidavit added.

Authorities say the frenzy rattled the 11-year-old girl and left her “shaking.” They also reported that a 10-year-old child was also present for the encounter, and that the incident inflicted “psychological harm” on both youngsters. The 10-year-old suffered an anxiety attack that required medical treatment after the violent incident. 

Following his arrest, Karamanlis told authorities he is a Greek national and that he intends to return to his home country. But he appears to have been in the U.S. illegally. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have since placed a hold on him in Pinellas County Jail. He’s currently being held on a $30,000 bond. A court date hasn’t yet been set.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the case, but Charles Skipper, a public information officer, told Oxygen.com that, “I think the affidavit speaks volumes.”

“That’s pretty powerful stuff,” he added.

Skipper wouldn’t comment on the immigration status of Karamanlis, but confirmed the ICE hold. 

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