People joke about a zombies eating people, but there are real cases like this. While the attacker was not dead, he was certainly not at home mentally.
This combo made with undated photos made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. shows Rudy Eugene, 31, left, who police shot and killed as he ate the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, right, during a horrific attack in the shadow of the Miami Herald’s headquarters on Saturday, May 26, 2012. Poppo was in critical condition Tuesday, with only his goatee intact on his face, the newspaper reported. – seattlePI
A man who was shot dead in Miami at the weekend after he was found biting the face off another naked man has been identified by police.
Rudy Eugene, 31, reportedly growled at a police officer after he was warned to back away.
A witness said the aggressor continued to eat the victim, before the officer opened fire several times, killing him.
The attack next to a busy road on Saturday afternoon has been linked to a potent drug known as “bath salts”.
About 75% of the victim’s face was reportedly missing.
Cyclist Larry Vega said there was “blood all over the place” when he came across the horrific scene by MacArthur Causeway.
“I told him get off,” Mr Vega told WSVN Fox 7. “The guy just kept eating the other guy away like ripping his skin.”
He said he alerted a police officer, who warned the attacker several times to back away from the victim.
“The guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled,” Mr Vega said.
The victim, identified as a 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo, remained in a critical condition in hospital on Tuesday.
A Miami police spokesman said: “We are expecting a report from our detectives to give more details to the media. We are also looking for more witnesses to this crime.”
Ives Eugene, Eugene’s uncle, described his nephew as a “nice and hard-working” man who washed cars at a local dealership.
Miami police said they still do not know what prompted the bizarre and savage assault, which has been compared to a “zombie” attack.
Armando Aguilar, of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, told the Associated Press: “He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth.”
Mr Aguilar told a CNN affiliate he believed the suspect could have taken a type of drug known as “bath salts”, citing four past overdoses in the Miami area where people had also removed their clothes and gone berserk.
“It causes them to go completely insane and become very violent,” he said.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, users of the drug have reported experiencing agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and elevated body temperature.
… Bath salts are highly addictive and apparently elicit intense cravings similar to methamphetamines. They act on the brain like other stimulants, and are sometimes referred to as a “cocaine substitutes.” Also known as “White Rush, Cloud Nine, Ivory Wave, Ocean Snow, Charge Plus, White Lightning, Scarface, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove, White Dove, and Sextasy,” their most common side effects are agitation, fast heart rate, and hallucinations and delusions, seizures, high blood pressure, and paranoia, according to the CDC. Deaths have also been linked to the drug.
“These substances are among the worst poison centers have ever seen,” said director of the Louisiana Poison Center, Mark Ryan. “The psychosis seen in some users is truly remarkable, in a very scary way. People high on these drugs have done some bizarre things to themselves and hurt others around them. It’s important that parents and young people understand just how dangerous these synthetic drugs are.”
Last fall, the Drug Enforcement Administration banned bath salts and their active ingredients, mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and methylone. “This action demonstrates our commitment to keeping our streets safe from these and other new and emerging drugs that have decimated families, ruined lives, and caused havoc in communities across the country,” said Michele M. Leonhart, DEA Administrator. “These chemicals pose a direct and significant threat, regardless of how they are marketed, and we will aggressively pursue those who attempt their manufacture and sale.”
The drugs are generally snorted, taken by mouth, or injected. One recent CDC study found that the majority of 35 patients brought to the ER for overdose had injected the drug. The same report suggested that for the one person who died from it, that MDPV was the chemical most likely linked to the death. Many of patients also had other drugs, like cocaine, benzodiazepines, opiates, marijuana, or amphetamines, in their systems at the time.
Bath salts are sold at convenience stores, “head shops,” and gas stations, or may be purchased on the Internet. They are often mislabeled to avoid detection by officials, and their labels may read “Not Intended for Human Consumption,” according to the CDC.
The government has had a hard time keeping up with synthetic drugs, as has been seen with synthetic marijuana in recent years. Calls to poison control centers for synthetic drug-related emergencies have risen drastically over the last several years, according to the American Association for Poison Control Centers: In 2010, there were 3,200 calls to poison control, and this number rose to over 13,000 in 2011….