Florida Man Allegedly High On Erotic-Themed ‘Whippets’ When He Ran Over Family Of Four, Killing Father

Joseph Franco allegedly tried to dispose of the nitrous oxide canisters he had consumed after he struck Amir Pelleg and his family with his car.

By Gina Tron
Joseph Franco

A Florida man is accused of running over a family on a sidewalk, killing the father and injuring his wife and children, all while high on erotic-themed nitrous oxide. 

Joseph Franco, 27, of Aventura was charged with DUI manslaughter on Wednesday for the death of Amir Pelleg in July 2018 after Miami-Dade prosecutors determined he was high at the time of the incident.

Prosecutors alleged that Franco was under the influence of nitrous oxide, or “whippets,” when he mowed down Pelleg, a 34-year-old real estate lawyer, and his family, according to the Miami Herald. Pelleg’s wife and two young daughters, ages 6 and 2, were injured. The children suffered broken bones while the wife was in a coma following the crash, according to NBC Miami. Pelleg died at the scene.

Franco is accused of trying to dispose of the nitrous oxide after the crash. A witness claimed they saw him dumping a duffle bag in a garbage can not long after he allegedly hit the family with his car.

Police allegedly found 12 used canisters of nitrous oxide inside that bag. The cans were labeled “XXX Platinum Triple Refined Cream Chargers,” according to the Miami Herald. Nine unused cans were also in the bag.

Franco was initially charged with tampering with evidence and distribution of nitrous oxide, which was upgraded to manslaughter this week. He has also been charged with multiple counts of reckless driving and DUI causing serious bodily harm to another, according to online jail records. He’s being held on a $77,500 bond. Previously, he was released on a $5,000 bond and given house arrest after the initial, lesser charge.

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