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$260K Bond For Brazilian Man Charged In Deadly Crash

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Joao Paulo Escudero Mauro (Source: Miami Beach Police)

Joao Paulo Escudero Mauro (Source: Miami Beach Police)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Bond was set Friday at $260,000 for the man accused of hitting and killing a 45-year-old man on Miami Beach.

Joao Paulo Escudero Mauro, 20, of Aventura, stood in front of a judge Friday. He is charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, cocaine possession and carrying a driver’s license with a fake birthday on it.

The judge said once Escudero Mauro posts the bond, he’ll be held on GPS-monitored house arrest at his family’s home in Aventura. He was also ordered to surrender his passport after prosecutors argued he is a flight risk.

Police said Escudero Mauro was driving a silver Mercedes SUV northbound on Collins Avenue at a high rate of speed early Thursday morning when he suddenly swerved into the parking lane at 39th Street.

According to Mauro’s arrest affidavit, he was doing more than 60 mph on a street where the posted limit is 30 mph.

The SUV struck 45-year-old Russell Knudson who was trying to load his bike into a gold Toyota and then slammed into a light pole which toppled to the ground. Knudson has just left work.

Neither the driver of the Toyota or the six people in the SUV was hurt.

A small bag of cocaine was found on the scene and Escudero Mauro’s arrest report said officers noted a “white powdery substance in his left nostril.”

His defense attorney argued Friday that it was simply dust from the air bag that went off.

“Judge, there is nothing in this probable cause affidavit indicating that he was driving and he was impaired,” said the attorney.

The judge asked about the white, powdery substance on his nostrils and the defense lawyer replied, “It was simply from the air bag that deployed in his face.”

The prosecutor countered with the argument that Escudero Mauro failed all of the field sobriety tests, however, police said on-scene breathalyzer test was below the legal limit at .007.

During questioning, Mauro said he had been drinking earlier in the evening. He also said he swerved to avoid hitting a vehicle which had stopped in front of him.

According to police, Mauro had on him a Brazilian state identification card which had an altered birth date which indicated that he was older than 21 years old.

Police said Mauro is from a wealthy family in Brazil and would be considered a flight risk if released on bail. The Brazilian Consulate was notified of his arrest.

Mauro was a racecar driver. Online there are numerous images and articles about him noting that he raced in the U.S. and Canada.

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