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)

    Well, I've been saying for months that the PCP problem in the Black Community in Florida is utterly insanely out of control. These things are going to continue to happen... shootings, beatings, cannibalism, etc. etc.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |

    The scene is horrific but the legal system forces people to use these weird synthetics in their need to keep the drug war, gangsterism, gun violence and racism going. This has allowed them to usurp control of all our governments, violating the separation of powers and is fueling their creeping feudalism, and bankrupting us at the municipal, county, and state levels driving taxes to the breaking point pushing many homeowners into foreclosure and permanently stripping the right to vote or own a legitimate sporting firearm ie a shotgun or rifle. The story as presented suggests bad police work and training. Police are trained to deal with mentally ill persons in some cases extremely disturbed persons. While most "law enforcement executives" will never encounter such an horrific scene city cops occasionally have to deal with these extreme cases. The facts as presented here DO NOT SEEM TO WARRANT immediate use of lethal force. The "officer" could have tasered, maced, or used his billyclub. The thought that he might have been thinking this was a real zombie is deeply troubling. At any rate a person is dead, maybe two people. There needs to be an investigation. Frankly any time a police officer discharges their firearm into a person there should be an internal AND A CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD made up of rotating random citizens like for jury duty. The officer had a variety of non lethal means at his disposal. IIT IS NOT OKAY THAT HE WOULD IMMEDIATELY DRAW HIS SIDEARM AND USE THAT FIRST INSTEAD OF AS A LAST RESORT. It may be that a review will determine the use of force was justified but I find that doubtful given the other means at his disposal. What happened to old fashioned policing? Any "officer" who discharges his firearm into another human being should be immediately subjected to full toxicology including blood, urine, AND HAIR ANALYSIS this analysis should test for steroids... A national scourge that has tainted mass numbers of police departments from new jersey to california. Steroid abuse in particular makes it difficult for "officers" to reasonably and objectively evaluate situations since they are PROVEN to provoke violent tendencies. This just seems like good sense doesnt it? If an "officer" shoots or kills someone they should be tested for everything. They are on the public payrolll By virtue of accepting the public payroll and pensions the "officer" has voluntarily relinquished his or her rights to privacy with regard to membership in the NRA, other firearm promoting clubs and organizations. Sucfh membership clearly influences their interpretation of police work and of course the power they have usurped from we the people with regard to they and their business partners the american bar association allows them to warp the second amendment beyond recognition. This plays to white fears, helps maintain fear and the image of the hero cop who is simultaneously causing and then claiming to protect from such phenomenon as handgun violence and gangsterism as well as the crimijnality that phony drug war causes. While the story is sensationally macabre theres nothing funny about this. One person is dead another may die. I am not satisfied the use of lethal force was automatically justified. I PATENTLY REFUSE TO CARRY A HANDGUN TO PROTECT OTHER PEOPLES RIGHTS TO CARRY HANDGUNS. (Rights they dont actually have since the second amendment has been warped beyond recognition to further ends having nothing to do with safety or justice) There should be an investigation, the officer needs to be subjected to HAIR, BLOOD, and URINE analysis SINCE A PERSON IS DEAD and the "officers" membership in NRA, and other firearm promoting organizations should be made public knowledge since he or she by accepting public employment and pay HAS NO RIGHT TO CONCEALMENT OF SUCH MEMBERSHIP SINCE GROUPS LIKE PBA, NRA, and in particular american bar association set policy on a wide scale and iin a way that specifically affects and influences expansions of the legal business. These huge expansions have come inevitably at the expense of our rights and the banklrupting of whole communties as well as debt on a widescale that is crippling local economies. What you have here is a guy doing the job he is too well paid to do not a hero.

    May 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • CommonSense

      Uhhhhh, "I AM CITIZEN"....... you are so far off-base on so many points here, it makes me worry for your own sanity. I wouldn't even know where to start in trying to help you understand your mass of errors.
      If you aren't currently on medication, maybe you should seek professional help?

      May 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • bk

      Citizen, you don't know what you're talking about. Go back to the liberal hole you crawled out from today. A Police Officer has the right to use deadly force when he/she believes that their life, or the life of another/others are being threatened. YOU ARE WRONG!!!!

      May 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustMe

      No one thought it was a real zombie, hence the ' ' marks around the word zombie. They are applying the word only in the sense that he was actually eating another human being. You think this guy could have been subdued another way? You obviously haven't been around anyone who has been snorting 'bath salts' (again, note the use of ' '. They are not bath salts used for soaking.) Go in an ER when they're trying to treat someone on this stuff. You won't believe what they're capable of when under the influence of 'bath salts'.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Jenkins

      He took a gunshot and kept chewing. Tasers don't stop that.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • some thoughts

      dude, give the cops a break on this one. Look, I am a democrat left-winger, but I recognize that you can't just scrutinize every single dang thing about the freakin cops. Sometimes they are doing their job and it's a freaking hard job man. sometimes they truly are out there to protect people. I mean that's what they signed up for, that's their life work, that is where they get their self-worth. They obviously don't want to do things they will regret for the rest of their lives.

      Now put yourself in the shoes of a cop who was five feet away from that cannibal. This guy is totally full of blood (possible extreme biological endangerment to you) you could get all sorts of diseases from that blood, you want to go splashing around in it with a billy club or pepper spray? The guy is chomping his teeth thinking of the best way to lunge specifically at your throat, and looks like he is afraid of absolutely nothing. The only thing I can think of that would be actually safe for the cop to do would be to fire at a distance with tranquilizers. Do they carry those or is it too expensive? but if they the standard of today is to only have a gun, that that would probably be the safest for the police in this situation. I mean if you billy club or pepper spray this guy you can also imagine he might continue to rapidly tear into the victim, and kill him or blind him which is what it sounds like he was about to do. I tend to not think the blindness of the victim would be worth the cannibal's life.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • loseanotherday

      Citizen, calmly remove yourself from the internet and quit giving liberals a bad name. BK I swear we aren't all that bad lol.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Dunn d

      I agree with your opinion. My mom and I were conversing the same topic earlier. The cop being influenced by media, believed this was a zombie or some sort of abnormal case. In all abnormal or extreme cases a cop is to be of sane mind, this is analogous to a teenager stealing cars after playing grand theft auto. Just because it was a scene from dawn of the dead doesn't mean we're in Marshall law. We would have had immediate answers if he were to be alive. The national community is instead forced to wait until lab tests confirm, that is if they can trace the reason. I personally believe it could be a virus that affects the CNS. If so its going to be weeks before we get answers. If so NOW we have no way of knowing how or where he was infected. These are important questions that we don't have answers for.

      Just because you fear that a person is dangerous. They're are other ways of taking care of threats than lethal force. HELLO THAT'S THE REASON YOU ARE COP. Your supposed to be trained. A human was treated like an animal, even if his behavior was extremely disturbing. I mean WHY COULDNT HE MACE THE GUT FIRST. That would have stopped him from eating the man's flesh, then they could have had time to come in with protected force to subdue and arrest the man.

      May 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • austin gilliam

      save your breathe! your an idiot! put a gun in your hand and wait till your life feels thretened

      May 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. unknown

    there going to get it illegal or legal

    May 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CommonSense

    No disrespect to the poor schlep who had his face chewed off, but..... why was he also naked? How is it the freak was able to keep the victim there whilst snacking away?
    Makes me seriously wonder if both were high on the same rubbish, or if the victim was high on something else that deadens or modifies perception of pain... e.g. PCP?
    Such extensive damage to the face is potentially fatal for normal people only due to infection and all the other inherent difficulties of exposing so much underlying tissue to the outside world. It isn't a gunshot wound that would immediately cripple someone, they would be in extreme pain and fighting back or "turtling" up and thrashing around if there was nothing to prevent the pain.
    Just sayin I'm curious about the rest of the facts/situation...

    May 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RootenTooten

    I thought about writing something snarky about conspiracies and coverups and how I want to believe the truth is out there.

    Then I took off my tinfoil hat !, lets face it, blaming this on Zombies is just a hell of a lot more fun than blaming it on a drug freakout.

    When there is no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the earth !

    May 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Dunn d

      I love the comment

      May 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RootenTooten

    Hm... I can't wait to see this in the next revision of a Drug Free America ad campaign... "Say no to Drugs, kids – or a zombie will EAT YOUR FACE ! (stay in school !) "

    May 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Swag Master

    Get used to these kind of stories coming out of Florida. They will get more violent and grotesque. The unreported PCP infestation will turn America on it's ear.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustMe

      Florida, heck, we had a bunch of incidents here last summer with people on bath salts. A cop murdered, an elderly man and his son stabbed and beaten to death by their neighbor. When we were on vacation in Maine there was an article about a man naked and climbing around on bridge trestles very high over a river. All on bath salts.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GetOuttaHere

    @ Passing Through:
    Do you really think the victim "just sat there" and let it happen???? Can you not read??? The drugged-out freakazoid had tons of strength. An offcier interviewed said that, a few weeks ago, another naked man under the influence of whatever-the-heck-it-is could not be subdued by 6+ cops who tased him FOUR TIMES. That man commenced to taking an officer's baton away and struck her arm with it, causing severe injuries.
    There are a million stoooopid comments on here, but blaming the victim is beyond ignorant. Way beyond.

    May 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dafuq

    So they suspect he was on drugs and that's what caused him to ignore the pain of the gunshots... That still doesn't explain how he survived being shot in the chest.. Last time I checked it wasn't the pain of a gunshot that killed you, it was the injuries it caused you.

    As for someone saying they didn't shoot to kill – they shot him in the chest apparently, where isn't a kill shot in the chest? You have the lungs and heart...

    May 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Delonte

    I knew LeBron was on something during the game last night!!

    May 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Harry Balzak

    Not a zombie . Come on CNN. Geez, Everyone knows you cant kill a zombie by shoting them. You have to bash thier head in or chop it off. Geez !

    May 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. some thoughts

    @victorv1 Yeah alcohol and nicotine are bad but in many cases I think we are looking at the long-term deadly effects on the liver and lungs. Some other drugs like heroin, crack-cocaine and sure I would include extreme hallucinogens like pcp or these bath salts to be just plain evil. So in the case of bath salts which seems to be some extreme meth-like hallucinogen we probably aren't talking about long term damage to an organ, but more the possibility of an immediate psychotic break. Don't defend any drug that does that ok?

    May 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Firewalker

    1. What do You think. 2. What do You know. 3. What can You prove.
    We know this man attacked and EAT another mans face. We think he was on some kind of psychotropic drug. This happened at 2pm on Saturday. Do we have an ACTUAL toxicology report. Have they even done one. There are a lot of "maybes" and "probably s" in this account. Sloppy detective work. Sloppy journalism. We have an amazing opportunity to explore fascinating possibilities and all you want to talk about is black drug addicts when you have only "maybe" and "probably". Lazy minds. You are already zombies.

    May 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kelley

    oh give it a rest

    May 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kelley

    Ok so why take the stance that he MIGHT have been on drugs?? Are you kidding me? Do you honestly think this guy was distressed bc his $2,000,000 house was being foreclosed on Miami Beach? (so he decided to eat someone) I think the toxicology reports are only going to tell us what drugs he took, not IF he took them. Oh and by the way, why is it bad to have a legally registered weapon again?? Last time I knew, there weren't too many stories in the news about perfectly (mentally) healthy, law abiding citizens with registered guns going around killing people...

    May 29, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Firewalker

      There are a large number of genuine medical conditions that can cause cannibalism. Some are genetic and some are organic. There are several fungi that can not only cause this absurdity, they cause alkalies in the blood stream that look like LSD. These fungi can be in our grain source because of the extreme wet weather we have had in our US BREADBASKET for last year or so. If so, there will be more manifestations. They can manifest quickly with frightening consequences.

      May 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Idol

      Probably a Miami Heat fan?

      May 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
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