Actor Steven Bauer and his female companion were arrested in Sweetwater on Tuesday in what began as a warning for a minor traffic violation.
Bauer, who starred in the bilingual PBS show Que Pasa, USA? and appeared with Al Pacino in Scarface, was pulled over Monday night for making an illegally left turn into the intersection of 107th Avenue and West Flagler Street.
The 56-year-old actor, whose real name is Steven Ernest Echevarria, was first given a warning, but when the police officer ran the driver’s license number, he found a 12-year-old warrant for driving with a suspended license.
The arrest was obligatory, said Sweetwater police spokeswoman Michelle Hammontree-Garcia.
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Bauer’s female passenger, Wilmar Machado, 23, who was with him inside the 2002 silver Nissan Altima, was also arrested for possession of marijuana. According to the police report, when Machado pulled out her ID from her purse, there was a baggie of marijuana and a glass pipe in plain view.
Bauer and Machado were taken into custody. The actor, who lives in west Miami-Dade, paid the $500 bail and was released on Tuesday afternoon. He still faces charges related to the 12-year-old warrant.
Hammontree-Garcia didn’t know if Bauer had a current license at the time of his arrest, but she said the warrant should have been cleared up if he renewed his license.
“It’s peculiar that this wasn’t caught earlier,” she said, explaining that one possibility was that he hasn’t been stopped for 12 years.
“Or it could be because of his status as a star, if an officer pulled him over he didn’t run his license,” Hammontree-Garcia said.
“But here we run everyone’s license, no matter who it is.”
Bauer played Manny Ribera, the best friend of Al Pacino’s character in the 1983 movie Scarface.
The Cuban-American actor is also famous for his role as the teenage son of an exiled Cuban family in Que Pasa, USA?, the first bilingual TV show in the United States.