A Brazilian race car driver was recently arrested for a DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide after allegedly causing an accident that killed a pedestrian in Miami Beach last week, according to a report from NBC Miami.
The South American race car driver, 20-year-old Joao Paulo Escudero Mauro, made his first appearance this Friday in Miami-Dade courtroom, where the judge set his bond at a lofty sum of $250,000.
Despite this high price tag, though, Mauro soon posted bond later that afternoon, but the court will follow his movements with an ankle monitor and the Brazilian driver had to surrender his passport.
According to a report from Miami Beach police, Mauro was driving his Mercedes-Benz SUV on Collins Avenue at a speedy clip of 60 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone. While he was speeding north on Collins, Mauro allegedly swerved to the left and drove onto a nearby sidewalk.
At the same time, which was roughly 1:30 a.m. last Thursday night, 45-year-old Russell Knudson was trying to squeeze his bicycle into a rear door of his Toyota SUV when he was hit and killed by the speeding Mercedes, according to police.
After the accident, Mauro allegedly drove the Mercedes further along the sidewalk until he eventually stopped several yards later.
When police made first contact with Mauro, he reportedly had bloodshot eyes and a flushed face, and his breath apparently smelled like alcohol. Mauro admitted to police that he had been drinking earlier, and he claimed that he swerved his car to avoid another vehicle that had stopped in traffic in front of him.
While the presence of another car in the road could support Mauro’s claim that he is not guilty, Mauro’s felony DUI charge could be enhanced by the possible presence of drugs, as well as his admitted alcohol use.
When police arrested him, they noted that Mauro’s left nostril contained a “white powdery substance” and the arresting officers found a small bag of a substance that looked a lot like cocaine. The bag was found close to the area where Mauro was standing.
So, in addition to the charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, the Brazilian national will also have to defend himself against a charge of cocaine possession.
Police also noted that Mauro had “a white powdery substance in his left nostril,” and that they found a small baggie of what appeared to be cocaine near where he was standing. He was later charged with cocaine possession in addition to the DUI and vehicular homicide charges.
Mauro, however, remains undaunted, and his attorney said that he and the defendant “believe that the evidence will show that Mr. Mauro was not driving under the influence or involved in vehicular homicide.”
In addition to this claim of innocence, Mauro’s attorney also acknowledged that the defendant felt “very badly for the Knudson family.”
Mauro has competed for a few years in Brazilian stock car racing and recently made his American appearance last June at the Road America 200 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in Wisconsin.