May 29th, 2012
08:42 AM ET

Reports: Miami 'zombie' attacker may have been using 'bath salts'

A naked man who chewed off the face of another man in what is being called a zombie-like attack may have been under the influence of "bath salts," a drug referred to as the new LSD, according to reports from CNN affiliates in Miami.

Why 'bath salts' are dangerous

The horrific attack occurred Saturday and was only stopped after a police officer shot the attacker several times, killing him.

'Zombie apocalypse' trending as bad news spreads quickly

Larry Vega witnessed the attack on Miami's MacArthur Causeway. He told CNN affiliate WSVN he saw one naked man chewing off the face of another naked man.

Rudy Eugene

"The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, 'Get off!'" Vega told WSVN. "You know it's like the guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin."

"It was just a blob of blood," WSVN quoted Vega as saying. "You couldn't really see, it was just blood all over the place."

Vega said he flagged down a passing police officer.

"When the officer approached him, told him to stop, pointed a gun at him, he turned around and growled like a wild animal and kept eating at the man's face," Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar told CNN affiliate WPLG.

The attacker was identified by Miami-Dade Police as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene. Miami-Dade referred CNN to Miami Police for all other details of the investigation.

Augilar said he suspects the attacker was under the influence of "bath salts." Four other drug use instances in Miami-Dade bear resemblances to Saturday's attack, he told WPLG.

"It causes them to go completely insane and become very violent" and take off their clothes, Augilar told WPLG.

Dr. Paul Adams, an emergency room physician at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, told CNN affiliate WFOR that the drug makes users delirious. They exhibit elevated temperatures and extreme physical strength, Adams said.

“I took care of a 150 pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds,” WFOR quoted Adams as saying. “It took six security officers to restrain the individual.”

Adams said users have been known to use their jaws as weapons, according to WFOR.

According to a 2011 report from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, bath salts contain amphetamine-like chemicals.

"Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting 'bath salts' containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions," according to the NIDA report.

In October, the Drug Enforcement Administration made possession of the stimulants in bath salts, Mephedrone, 3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and Methylone, illegal under an emergency order. The order lasts for a year with a possible six-month extension.

The stimulants have been placed under restrictions or banned in 37 states, according to a DEA press release.

The victim of Saturday's attack, whom police have not identified, was in critical condition at Jackson Memorial on Monday, according to the WPLG report. Augilar told WPLG that 75% to 80% of his face was missing.

Eugene had an arrest record, mostly misdemeanors, including a battery charge from when he was 16 that was later dropped, according to the Miami Herald.

He had been married but divorced in 2007, WPLG reported. His former wife told the station that Eugene had been violent toward her.

Homeless people near where the attack took place said Eugene was often seen around the area looking confused, according to WPLG.

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Florida
soundoff (972 Responses)
  1. Tyler Durden

    Bath salts? Or Government Test Zombie Beta version 1.0? I wonder if the guy whose face is gone will be able to submit a bug report

    May 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ben


    May 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NooYawkah

    Leave us not forget the asian guy who killed the guy sitting next to him on a bus, cut off his head, and started eating him. Last I heard he was allowed out on parole. Ah, those liberal Canadians.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • beep

      yes liberal, run by a party called the "conservatives"
      Also the bus killer is highly schizophrenic, was undiagnosed and untreated. He is now massively medicated and under constant watch.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |

      Yeah, like the governor of Mississippi who paroled the murderers.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AJD13

    I think it's irresponsible for the authorities to be speculating that it was drugs at this point. They may be correct but to just start throwing things out there with absolutely ZERO proof to base it on is wrong. First it was "cocaine psychosis" then it was "LSD" now it's "bath salts"....the only true FACT is that right now no one knows why this man did what he did. Until the official tox screen comes back (which can take weeks) they shouldn't be giving any reason for it. It's so easy to chock this up to drug use. What if it's something pathological...a virus or bacteria that affects the brain? Who knows? I find it funny that they were so tight lipped about the details when it happened, just stated it was a "fight", it was the witnesses that told what really happened, but when it comes to the reasons why they're willing to just start throwing things out there. Even with drug use, eating a man's face off is not typical behavior. That's exactly why this story has caught the attention of people and the media...if this was typical for drug users...of any would be happening all the time. I read an account from the man's uncle today that he had asked to borrow his gf's car that day and she was using it so he couldn't use it and that's why he had taken the he goes from guy asking to borrow his gf's car to growling cannibal? He had quite a record but only a couple charges of misdemeanor battery since the age of 16...most of the other charges were for selling pot. There's a heck of a difference between misdemeanor battery and eating a guy's face off and growling at a cop and being able to take multiple bullets before finally being put down. Something definitely happened to him and I would love to know what it was, but I don't think it's responsible at all for the authorities to just start throwing out theories. I want to know the truth with evidence to back it up, not just people's theories. The only reason they're saying bath salts now is because of suggestions by people in ER's that have seen an increase in patients using it that have been strong and combative. That happens with a lot of drugs and doesn't make them into cannibals. They say they've seen similar cases in the last few weeks....these "bath salts" have been around for quite awhile now and they're just now seeing people turned into cannibals from it? What would be really unnerving is if the tox screen comes up clean. Also, I find it funny that the second thing they came up with is LSD....LSD will not come up on a standard tox screen...the only way to test for it is by doing a spinal tap and testing the spinal fluid which generally is not done in it would be an easy excuse to say LSD if nothing else came up on the standard tox screen, or at least not enough of a substance (or a type of substance like pot that would not cause this) to explain that kind of behavior. If there ever were some type of "zombie" virus that affected the brain that started spreading, the scary thing is we'd never know about it until it was too late because the authorities and media would start throwing theories like this out there and by the time the truth came out no one would be paying attention or it would simply be too late or they'd cover it up so as not to cause a panic.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • adele

      You said exactly what I was thinking!!!!!!!!!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • McMAN71

      tnd to agree with you, but one thing about the "bath salts" and "herbal incence" is that since the chemical combinations change regularly, then you really know what the effects are going to be. I have no personal experience with bath salts, but I have tried the fake weed a few times. The first batch I got was almost exactly like a pot high, but lasted a little longer. I decided that the effects were a little too good, so did not use again for some time. The next time was about six months later, and the names of the chemicals were completely different. My wife and I smoked a little before going into a music festival, and she completely freaked out. We got her to an EMT who observed her for a short while before determining that she was okay. I was fine, but seeing get so scared sobered me up pretty quickly. Just to be sure, I smoked a little at home the next day, and it was NOTHING like pot. I started having a mild hallucination, and relized that my wife was having a bad trip. I threw the rest of it away, and have never used any since. I have since heard that the drug mayu be addicative, and pretty much with each chemical change, the effects change as well. The stuff is pretty darned scary.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. liberal

    the use of lethal force here was not justified-there are other means of subduing a criminal that doesn't involve murder like tasing. the victim wasn't in any imminent danger. yes he was having his face torn off by a man-eating nutjob but in the two or three seconds it would have taken the police to tase him, there wouldn't have really been any difference in the status of the victim because in two to three seconds, the most the man-eating nutjob could do is probably take one last bite but that wouldn't have really done anymore damage than what was already inflicted. 80% of the victim's face was destroyed, think about it. was the police suppose to save the vimpending threat of a further 0.5% damage to the person's face? because that's all that would have been done in 2-3 seconds yet the police decided to shoot him and take away his life instead of tasing him, which would of had him subdued in no time by simply increasing the amount of voltage to be released.

    the only reason people are happy this man was killed is because the idea of a zombie-like cannibal devouring the flesh of another man on the ground paints the strong image of gore and violence, which appeals to us emotionally as something barberous and outrageous but that isn't grounds to shoot and kill him right away.

    if a man is pouncing on someone with his fist then should the police's response be to immediately shoot him? NO

    May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • liberal

      save the victim from the impending threat of 0.5% damage************************

      May 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • latuya83

      He was eating another human being the cop should've shot, stabbed and whatever else was necessary to rid this beast from our society.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oblib2345

      Are you really that insane?? Honestly, have you ever seen someone on drugs in the manner they describe above? They can shrug off a taser or pepper spray shot like it was nothing. Lethal force was fully justified in this case, the officer did what was necessary to prevent further harm to the victim or anyone else in the area.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Actually you can't simply up the voltage. There is not a dial on the thing. It's a standard load, that way it's a constant not a varialbe. Anyway, what if that last bite hit the jugular. Then you would want to say the officer failed to act and that victim didn't have to die. Oh..only if that officer would have done more... the victim could have lived... I'm sure that is how it would go. Better just kill the zombie first and hope the victim doesn't contract the virus and bite a doctor, who bites a nurse and so on.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |

      Yes it was.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hegro

    Cue the moral panic and prepare for idiot politicians to ban bath salts.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. liberal

    This police officer should be fired for use of unecessary lethal force!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • popw

      Liberal needs to get his face chewed off by a zombie and while he is crying to get the zombie off his face the police will talk about options and have meetings to determine the best way to get the zombie off his face. I am sure that is in the best interests of the zombie. Oh wait, should we be concerned about the victim? Naw, its Liberal, we dont need to worry about that one. I am more worried that we would harm the zombie, after all they are rare and need to be preserved.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • ak2k


      May 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rob

    figures it'd be the DEA starting the Zombie apocalypse

    May 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dropbear

    Makes me think twice about gifts to give the little woman... "Honey, what do you mean you want to suck face?"

    May 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. no nothing

    I don't know why the cops did not just shoot the PoS he seems to be such a nice guy.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ready for The Zombies

    Is the Zombie Attacker one of Mike Tyson's offspring ?

    May 29, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      See this is not the first attack it's the second

      May 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. maxp0wer

    legalize it, and this won't happen! Then we can tax it, and all of our problems will just go away. Legalization is the solution to all drug related problems!

    May 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. angryersmell

    Not that this wasn't horrific, because it was, and not that we'd be better off with Mr. Eugene still alive, because it's likely we wouldn't, but there seems to be a disturbing trend in law enforcement these days (which, counterintuitively, has become more of a problem with the rise of widespread use of tasers and other "non-lethal" tools): It seems that non-lethal force is used with reckless abandon against non-violent, and in many cases, harmless individuals (or sometimes even bystanders), and when non-lethal force seems absolutely required, the second a suspect begins acting the least bit "crazy", that suspect is immediately treated as a violent threat and killed.

    Perhaps it was the introduction of more effective "non-lethal" weapons, and the changes in procedures which followed, but it appears police need to take a serious look at how they use these new tools given to them. There needs to be much more clear guidelines and strict controls applied, because what we're seeing on the news each day is erroding the publics trust in police officers. A taser should not be used just because an officer wants to shut someone up. An unarmed old man does not need to be tased, beaten and thrown in a chokehold by 4-5 officers to subdue him. A homeless man waving a stick and raving at people does not need to be shot 7-8 times.

    Just to be clear, I am not saying police should no be allowed to use force. What I'm saying is, they should be made to put more effort in to assessing a threat before hand, more effective, flexible strategies to deal with threats need to be established, and they must become much more strict with how force is applied in each situation. Otherwise, force will continue to be misappled, bad officers will continue to make good officers look bad, more incidents will make the news, the publics trust in the police will continue to erode, that erosion will lead to more confrontation and more confrontation will lead to more incidents of the misapplication of force. It's a cycle that must be broken, and soon.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      The man kept eating the guys face off even after the police tired to get him to stop! He was going to continue to eat his face. Should they have used more diplomacy until 100% of his face was ingested? If it were you having your face eaten off, believe me the police would have not killed him fast enough. This WAS an extreme situation.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Weird case to make that point. If a guy was eating your face off would you have preferred the officer to say "pretty please stop?" I myself would have welcome the shooting, but that's just me....

      May 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Btea5503

      Are you saying that the shooting of this guy wasn't justified? A police officer can use deadly force in defense of himself or a third person. In this case, it was the victim that was getting his face eaten.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAVVV

      If onlly they would legalize pot....everybody would just chill out and listen to pretty music. Pass the joint Obamamaa !

      May 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • profKB

      I agree with the sentiment that police often abuse their power, but if you think this is an excessive use case, you clearly did not read this story. The man was "tearing him to pieces with his mouth." That is VERY OBVIOUSLY a violent threat. A civilian told him to stop, he didn't. the POLICE told him to stop. He DIDN'T. At that moment there was an OBVIOUS threat to someone's LIFE which these officers SAVED. So read stories before you post a three paragraph rant of incoherent nonsense. Thank you.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aeromechanic

      Agreed. The officers out in California will hopefully spend the rest of their lives in prison for what they did. That being said, I think some dude chewing another man's face off is a good candidate for lethal force. I'd be damned if I would want to try to physically restrain someone who apparently wants to eat human way am I geeting close enough for him to take a bite out of my face.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dac77

      ...did you read the part where the guy was eating another's face off, or did that blow right by you on your way to rant against the police? I all for fighting the system, but I'm pretty sure deadly force was justified in this case.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ordinary Average American

      Americans are "armed and dangerous" - the cops AND the general public - and neither trusts the other so we're all paranoid and killing each other at the least provocation! It's scary to even go out anymore because you don't know who the enemy is, but you know they're everywhere!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel

      What's next? Callng the policeman's manners into question for not offering the guy an after-dinner mint? He was EATING ANOTHER PERSON'S FACE. Not the time or place to argue police brutality.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dezcribe

      I've seen that movie a thousand times- when someone is eating your face off, you have to shoot them with a silver bullet throughout the heart, cut off their head, then burn them. That's gonna cover the werewolf, zombie, vampire- whatever the heck that was. Otherwise, you end up dessert. Good job, police for not being the idiot that tries the taser first in that situation.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      Obviously someone hasn't seen Scarface.

      The ending was actually fairly realistic to what happends with certain drugs in a person's system. Someone can be shot multiple times and still be a danger to others. That's why a leg or shoulder isn't enough- it HAS to be lethal force to guarantee others, including the cop, will not be in danger.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allie

      Sorry, but my son is a cop– and I know first hand all the garbage they have to go through! If the "animal" didn't stop this action immediately on command by the MPD, he deserved to be blown away! I would have actually done it before telling him to stop! People make their own choices, and it gets to the point, cops have to protect themselves against the garbage in the communities!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • AddyAdore

      Did you read the part where the victim is missing approximately 75-80% of his FACE... and the attacker had ignored requests to stop. I say in case, the use of deadly force was more than justified.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • craig

      While I would generally agree with your ideas, in this case I think deadly force was appropriate. The officer was witnessing a murder taking place. He announced his presence, directed the suspect to cease, and saw no response beyond the continued assault. It was likely evident that the suspect wasn't going to comply...but that's just my opinion based upon what I've seen and read. However, at that point, I think his choices were limited, and his actions reasonable.

      As a former law enforcement officer, I agree that too many have either lost, or simply chosen to ignore, the skills to "talk down" the issues they confront. Too many times the first move is to reach for the gun or the baton. That wasn't the way I was trained, and it seldom happened. Yes, times are different, but people...for the most part, are still the same. This was likely an example of an exception.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      I think the officer acted quite appropriate in this situation who knows what the attacker is capable of. For all he knew the walking dead may no longer be a t.v show, s$%t I would have lol.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • hightravis

      Hey man, Im 100% for removing the police power which has contributed to the United States having the highest incarceration rate in world history, I favor forcing Police to begin using non-deadly force in situations which do not need, but, but, BUT if some naked zombie dude high is on top of me and has eaten my face off, I think it's okay for the cops to shoot this his ass.

      Put your thesis in an article related to questionable police conduct, otherwise let's get back to the story of America's most recent Zombie attack.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Emmett Zimmer

      I am generally vigilant about police misuse or abuse of force. However, in this case, given that the victim's life was in imminent danger and the offender ignored the warning to cease and desist his behavior, I do believe that lethal force was legitimate and necessary to save the life of the victim.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • angryersmell

      I also love another new trend around these days. People with nothing to contribute to a discussion "trolling" stories endlessly in search of someone to attack (whether or not they are true "trolls", and likely in some kind of twisted quest intended to give their lives meaning). Much of the time, while they make an effort to seem like they are adding to a discussion, their attempts are almost always completely transparent. Regardless of the topic, rather than seriously think about that topic itself, or comments on that topic which may be related, they dub themselves arbiters of all discussion on that topic, and will immediately "take the low road" and attack anyone who says anything that might seem to be counter to the mainstream opinion regarding said topic (and conversely, if the opinion seems in favor of the mainstream opinion, they will often attack that position).

      Take for example the responses to my comment. Immediately several resort to name calling (which is not argument and, while of some comedic value, often has the opposite of the intended effect), they point out the obvious ("he was eating his face off!"), then present an absurd scenario to "prove" their point ("if he were eating your face, you'd let him?"). While many people can see these childish comments for what they are, a large percentage of people read these stories and the comments in a very superficial way (as many are young with little life experience, or they simply don't have the time), and thus they are fooled into thinking these people have valid opinions. This is especially true when they take quotes out of context and use them against the initial commenter. If you bother to read the opening two sentances of my comment, you see I have no problem with the use of deadly force in this specific case, and am fine with the result. This seems to be a situation where lethal force was required, as the attacker clearly was a drug-crazed maniac, but at the same time, it is also very similar to many cases we currently see over and over again, where it is likely not required (hence the original comment).

      If one takes only a moment to consider the comment in it's entirety, what's being said is very clear. In the context of a story about a crazed man killed by a police officer, and in the context of more and more stories about police officers using excessive force in similar situations (which are appearing more and more often in a world filled with constant surveillence) and with the increased use of "non-lethal" weapons, it doesn't take a lot of mental gymnastics to understand the connection between my original comment and this story. In fact, this could be seen as a clear indication that many of these commenters are not motivated to respond by either their reaction to the story, or to my comment. They are motivated simply by their own need to react to something, or by the gratification they receive from creating the possibility that someone else will react to them.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Disanitnodicos

    I find it very racist that CNN chooses to include the man's photo with this story. Why? What information does it add? It just fuels racial hatred.

    May 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      I see nothing wrong with the pic. There's nothing racist about it. Why are you so worried about what other's say?

      I'd like to know if there are any other cases like this one. As the article states, they use their jaws as weapons.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      All criminals get their faces shown. It is a mug shot which is public record. I see PLENTY of white trash mugshots on news stories as well. It is not all about race.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      YOU'RE the one fueling race hatred with YOUR stupid race related comment!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Av

      This has nothing to do with racism... Learn your facts bro!!!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babykitty

      That is ridiculous.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      I don't think it's racist. Who cares what color the guy is, I'd just like to see what kind of lunatic eats someone's face. It won't change the way I think about my black friends, they're not lunatics. I think you're being a little sensitive about race.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Btea5503

      Nothing wrong with putting his face in this article.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • at kelley

      we should publish the criminal in everyway possible ! Also I wouldnt want this to happen to any of my family . Put his name in every paper and show his face on TV . You sound like a 1960 protestor who got caught with firebomb in his hand . I sure wouldnt want to be stuck in your head !

      May 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • profKB

      Disanitnodicos OMG are you SERIOUS?? That guy is GUILTY OF A HEINOUS CRIME!!! that has NOTHING to do with race!! They show all criminals faces!!! Wow... It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to show their stupidity in a forum as public as CNN. Bro, go back to school. The only thing racist about this story, is your ignorant comment.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Myhogoff

      So should they only show pictures if the criminal was white?

      May 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarah3

      why does it matter to you what race the guy was? a crime is a crime doesn't matter what color you are. Comments like yours just fuel the fire.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rick Grimes

    I hope they shot him in the head....You have to shoot Zombies in the Head!!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamaal

      The cop had to shoot the dude a second time, the first shot did not stop him. The article said he went back to eating the other guys face off.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
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