BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — A Peabody man who recently completed a prison term for smashing his way into a Salem family’s home in the middle of the night, claiming he needed to hide from men chasing him, is back behind bars.
Carlos Vieira, 35, was traveling between 70 and 100 miles an hour, passing other cars on the right and driving on the sidewalk, before he crashed into a guardrail and snowbank on Highland Avenue near Market Basket early yesterday morning, police said.
Police arriving at the scene around 5 a.m. found an empty white Nissan Altima. They also found Vieira running down the median of the four-lane divided highway, Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said.
Witnesses told police that aside from his speed, they also noticed that Vieira was driving without headlights in the predawn hour.
During a search, police found a bag of white powder, said Prosniewski, but it did not contain drugs, and Vieira showed no signs of impairment. The powder may have been what investigators refer to as a “flash bag,” sometimes used to trick drug customers into believing that a dealer has access to large amounts of a drug.
Vieira was charged with leaving the scene of a property-damage accident. But given his lengthy record, which includes 11 trips to jail or prison and a string of defaults, Prosniewski asked for high bail.
Judge Matthew Machera set bail at $1,500 but also ordered that Vieira remain held on a warrant that Superior Court issued after learning about his arrest.
Vieira is on probation for the February 2010 incident on Rawlins Street, in which a terrified family found him hiding in their house in the middle of the night.
He’s due back in court in the new case on April 1.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.