83ºF

Lawyer racked up about $300 in drink charges at bar before fatal crash, warrant states

Surveillance video allegedly shows suspect stumbling through parking garage

MIAMI – A Miami Lakes attorney racked up about $300 in drink charges at a Coral Gables bar in December before he struck a woman with his Mercedes-Benz and left the scene, an arrest warrant stated.

According to the warrant, Marcos Gonzalez-Balboa, 65, consumed multiple alcoholic beverages between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. Dec. 6 at Bulla Gastrobar.

Receipts showed he spent $173.36 on one tab that included two appetizers and several vodka, scotch and tequila drinks.

Another receipt showed he spent $153.92 on 10 drinks that included eight Grey Goose vodkas on the rocks and two Macallan scotch drinks on the rocks.

File: Marcos Gonzalez-Balboa arrest warrant

According to the arrest warrant, surveillance video shows Gonzalez-Balboa stumbling through a nearby parking garage after he left the bar to get his car.

Authorities said the attorney also had difficulty putting money or a ticket into the machine that operates the exit gate.

 

photo

Miami-Dade police said Gonzalez-Balboa drove to the town of Miami Lakes after leaving the bar and lost control of his car on Miami Lakes Drive at Fairway Drive as he approached a curve in the roadway that had a marked speed limit of 30 mph.

Police said Gonzalez-Balboa veered from the lane and struck Tatum Holloway, 26, of Cape Town, South Africa, who had just bought some food at a nearby McDonald's and was walking across the crosswalk.

Holloway was vaulted upward and into the windshield of Gonzalez-Balboa's car, and her body was then hurled about 51 feet, coming to a rest along the side of the road next to a storm drain, the arrest warrant stated.

Police said Holloway's watch was knocked off her wrist because of the impact of the crash.

Detectives said Gonzalez-Balboa did not stop after the crash and continued to drive to his home in Hialeah. He arrived home just before 2 a.m. Dec. 7, the warrant stated.

Police said Gonzalez-Balboa was pulled over in his car later that afternoon and it was clear the windshield had just been replaced because there was still tape on it holding it in place and the suction cup marks from installing it were visible.

Police said Gonzalez-Balboa spontaneously told the officer, "A coconut hit my windshield."

The attorney refused to provide a statement about what happened the previous night, but allowed officers to seize and search his Mercedes and search his cellphone, the warrant stated.

 Authorities said the FBI determined that Gonzalez-Balboa's cellphone was in the same location of the crash at the time the victim was killed. 

Police said a piece of the front bumper of the suspect's car was also left at the scene, which they linked to Gonzalez-Balboa's car.

Authorities said Gonzalez-Balboa got his windshield repaired at an auto shop in Pompano Beach. Employees told detectives that they had already discarded the old windshield, but authorities were able to find the old one at the Waste Management Recycling Center in Deerfield Beach, which was impounded as evidence.

Neighbors told Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol that they were shocked by the attorney's arrest.

"He has always been a very nice neighbor," Joaquin Toscano said. "I couldn't believe that something like that would happen to him. It shocked me."

Gonzalez-Balboa faces charges of vehicular homicide, failure to stop at the scene of a crash, DUI manslaughter, failure to render aid and tampering with evidence.

His attorney said he is confident that his client will be cleared of the charges.

"We are looking into this matter," attorney Miguel Del Aguila said. "It is a very serious charge but, at the end of the day, we believe that a jury will find him not guilty of the offense."

Holloway's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Gonzalez-Balboa on Tuesday, seeking up to $15,000 in damages.

Gonzalez-Balboa is being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond. If he posts bail, he will be placed on house arrest and will not be allowed to drive.


About the Author: