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. Thenextstep

    What happened to the man that became "Dinner" ?? He make it or what ??

    May 30, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Meg

      Read the Huff post... they do a much better job covering the story.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Meg

      Read the Huffington Post. They do a much better job covering this story. Less about "zombies" and more about what actually happened.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • CaliGirl27

      thats just rude and disrespectful! I can see that your ALL OLDER THAN ME and are rude! think about this poor guy...he has no face! Next time you hurt yourself...dont share it with anybody...heartless. We will remember your comment when your in trouble and we'll make sure that people disrespect you too! Wow...no shame at all. GROW UP maybe?

      May 30, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      It's in the article..."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."

      May 30, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      The Officer killed him with a shot to the head... think after a couple shots and it doesn't phase the attacker and he looks at the officer and growls, can't blame the cop for killing him!

      May 30, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. JomoDaMusicMan

    The photo or photo/film that I saw seems to look like two naked white men laying on the ground now I see a Black Face. WHAT'S UP!

    May 30, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Meg

    Let's clarify that the VICTIM in this situation is Ronald Poppo aged 65.
    The poor man was homeless and was randomly attacked while sitting on the street. How sick can people make an already sick situation? And shame on CNN for making this story into nothing more than a glorified "Zombie" attack. Grow up children. What if this had happened to someone you know?

    May 30, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      What article are you reading. I'm no big proponent of CNN, but they covered the incident and explained that the guy was under the influence of drugs that produce this "zombie-like" effect. What the hell is wrong with that explanation????

      May 30, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • T. R.

      It could not happen to someone I know, because I don't know any drug addicts or homeless people.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. Keepalowprofile

    This some how seems normal. It just seems like the next step after the Jerry Springer show.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    It was either bath salts or HE WAS A ZOMBIE!

    May 30, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. J0nx

    I'm confused, why didn't the PO taze this guy? Was killing him really necessary? Hmmm.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      yes, klling this animal was appropriate and necessary.

      May 30, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Watch out for the guy in the hospital. Once you are bitten by a zombie, you become one.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. curt

    Feel so sorry for the victim, I wonder how he'll ever recover from this attack...

    May 30, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. chapasaurus

    One thing that seems to always be lacking in these stories is whether the person had a history or risk of schizophrenia or a similar condition. If that's the case, this seems to be pretty much like all the other "bath salts" stories I've read that are based too much on uninformed sensationalism. Bath salts are more similar to synthetic cocaine rather than LSD, and so far, the only people that have hurt themselves or others like this have been at risk for a mental illness already. I agree that we should steering people away from potentially dangerous and untested drugs, but blatant propaganda like this really only ends up hurting in the end.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sarcastro

    Oh sure, it was just some guy on drugs.

    That's what they all say, right before the Zombie Hordes come!

    May 30, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. GovLies

    This is just the goverment covering up the truth, as usual. Zombies are out there and they are coming for us all.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. magnus

    i'm sure his mom will be so proud

    May 30, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  13. ipmutt

    Bring in Jessie, Al and Obama to get this guy some help. And don't blame bath salts. You have to be down right mean in the first place.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • MalcolmXcrement

      or very, very hungry...

      May 30, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • meiewe

      @ Ipmutt – the offender is dead. He doesn't need Jesse or the lot; what he needs is a good mortician. Please read for comprehension. Lay down your bath salts and be part of society.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • t clements

      When they say "missing", this is not an over statement, if he survives there is not enough plastic surgery to repair his face. This makes the monkey go crazy on pet owner look like she just had a scratch.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      @meiewe
      Martin is dead too. That hasn’t stopped them from trying to make money of the little thug.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. Randy

    I think if we would give up this ridiculous war on drugs, well maybe the man would have just snorted some cocaine, or injected himself with Heroin; while either doesn't have the side effect of 'face noshing'.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. MalcolmXcrement

    They must have been flavored bath salts. Wow, this guy must have been starving!!

    May 30, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
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