Miami cannibal zombie-like attack linked to powerful ‘bath salts’ drug
Ronald Poppo, left, was the victim of a horrific cannibal attack at the hands of Rudy Eugene, Miami police said Tuesday.
The man who committed a zombie-like cannibal attack in Miami may have been under the influence of a powerful drug concoction called ‘bath salts’.
Police have now identified the nude assailant who almost killed a homeless man over the weekend by trying to bite his face off, but said they did not know what provoked the bizarre and savage attack.
The aggressor, Rudy Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police who said he had devoured almost the entire face of his victim. Ronald Poppo, 65, who has been identified as the victim and was also naked during the attack, remains hospitalized and fighting for his life.
“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,” a Miami police spokesman said. “The victim remains in critical condition.”
Police initially said the attack could have been provoke by an overdose of a powerful new form of LSD mixed along with “cocaine psychosis.”
Reports however suggest Eugene was likely under the influence of the synthetic stimulant ‘bath salts’ made with the active agent mephedrone, which produces an often aggressive, chaotic experience for users, coupled with intense hallucinations.
Friends and acquaintances also told local media that Eugene was known as easygoing, a good friend with a winning smile, and were unaware of him having any mental or drug problems.
Authorities hope that the victim, if he survives, could help explain what precipitated the grisly attack.
“We’re hoping that he pulls through, for his well-being, but also so he can tell us what happened,” said Sergeant Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami police union. “Only he knows.”
Miami police yesterday released a photo of Poppo.
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- Miami police release first picture of man horrifically mauled in naked cannibal attack
- Photos allegedly show victim after naked cannibal mauling as police ID attacker
- Rudy Eugene identified as man shot dead by police while eating another man’s face
- Witness describes naked man chewing another man’s face off before Miami cop shot him
- During the incident, Eugene had reportedly refused to stop chewing even after being wounded by police.
- Authorities are still looking for more witnesses to the grisly incident, which ended with Eugene’s death.
Horrific photos have emerged allegedly showing Poppo badly mauled. Although the pictures, which appear to show a horrifically disfigured face of a man receiving medical treatment, have not been confirmed by officials as that of the victim, witness accounts appear to match with the images.
Local reports said most of the man’s face was gone — his nose bitten, his eyes gouged, his skin ripped away. All that remains intact is the man’s goatee, according to the Miami Herald.
Detective William Moreno said police want to understand what led to the grisly scene in which a witness said the Eugene growled when a police officer told him to stop his attack.
“We know that there were many people on the MacArthur Causeway, and we’re hoping they come forward,” Moreno told The Miami Herald on Monday.
Another image shows the two men lying side-by-side in a pool of blood on the highway ramp.
Witness Larry Vega was riding his bicycle Saturday afternoon when he saw the attack.
“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’” Vega told Miami television station WSVN. “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”
Vega flagged down a police officer, who he said repeatedly ordered the man to get off the victim. The attacker picked his head up and growled at the officer, Vega said.
Vega said the officer shot the attacker, who continued chewing the victim’s face. The officer fired again, killing the man.
A surveillance video camera from The Miami Herald building nearby captured images of the men’s naked legs lying side by side after the shooting.
Vega said the victim appeared gravely injured.
“It was just a blob of blood,” Vega said. “You couldn’t really see, it was just blood all over the place.”
According to reports, Eugene had been arrested eight times since he was 16, mostly on drug charges.