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. anchorite

    New LSD? More like the new PCP. Get it right, CNN.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JDavis

      And very likely it was PCP. With PCP, violence and strange behavior are well known.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. yolanda

    If Obama had a son, he'd look just like Rudy.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Least Most Wanted

    When a person is eating another person's face and the news uses the term "zombie" I don't think that is hype. Regardless of how the person who is doing the eating is acting they are tearing at human flesh with their teeth, very fictional zombie or real animal like behavior. This story is not hyped, that is very disturbing stuff.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. supaman

    Was the victim naked? Haven't seen that reported anywhere. And if he was, how in the world did this guy let someone take off all of his clothes AND eat his face?

    May 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Power

      You're so right, he must have been a willing participant.... NOT.
      You're an idiot.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |

      Reading is your friend.
      You should try it.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeramie

    I am very curious about blood samples and what is found within the samples. This sounds absolutely ludacriss to believe that you are getting the same violent actions in all 5 cases. It seems that if it is a drug or a toxicity issue from bath salts, it would most likely NOT produce the exact same symptoms in every case. I bet this story just goes away and gets hidden or obscured and not followed. If it is a biological agent I got my zombie squisher ready. lol

    May 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. noodlez


    May 29, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. jeramie

    OOOOOO....and dont forget the double

    May 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jakey

    Reading this, I've got the same question I do when I hear things about PCP: why on earth would you WANT to take this drug?

    May 29, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |

      We used to play cops and robbers as kids and dressed up the best we could to play the parts.
      This is the new generation's version of the same game only with Zombies and Survivalists.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      It's the only way to make face taste good.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. seamoney

    I think it's weird/sad that they're calling bath salts "the new LSD". Given that it's an amphetimine, not purely psycotropic. LSD trips can be an enlightening, introspective experience that can expand your personal awareness. Meth can be a descent in into hyperactive madness. Which sounds more similar to what happened here?

    May 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Dangerkittie

      Perhaps you haven't heard about the brown was bad...all drugs (except for unadulterated marijuana, and even then bad 'trips' have been known to happen) can create horrific situations.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Well put. It sounds more like meth psychosis.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      LSD may have been enlightening and provided users with introspective, pleasant experiences when it was available in its "pure" form, back in the early '60's, but dealers began adulterating the drug with cheap amphetamines relatively early on, to get users high quicker, and to make more profit. Its an old, sad story. You are right, these "bath salts" should not be compared to LSD, but, as we have learned, that won't stop potential users from trying to get high on it. It is one of the most frightening drug images I have heard of.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      I just talked to a bunch of junkies on this stuff- they say it's more like PCP combined with Meth and just as addicting if not more addicting than meth. The junkies told me when they can't get it they go back to using heroin if that gives you a clue to its dangers.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. supaman

    The zombie label is so inaccurate. He was eating flesh, not brains.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |

      One must eat the flesh to get the brains. Its kind of like eating the yellow cake to get to the creamy filling of a Twinkie.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • FoolKiller

      Get a clue... the brains stuff is just in the movies. Real zombies aren't picky.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • ironfray

      You're thinking of the classic zombie movies. More modern depiction of zombies eat everything to the bone and are quick moving.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nell

    Personally I believe this is a cover-up and a resultof the extreme chemical exposure, radiation, and imbalances that 80% of Americans are subjected to everyday.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. Leigh2

    What a horrible thing to happen to the man who was attacked. Hopefully he will recover and the doctors can do something for him with regard to his face. How sad. Scary to think that ingesting or snorting 'bath salts' caused that kind of uncontrollable rage. People do all sorts of crazy things just to get 'high'.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. willy

    Another example of someone who put stuff into their brain that did not belong there. Results may vary.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • willy

      If he wasn't drugged up then he was really, really mentally sick. I vote for both. Already crazy and then drugged up as well. If he wasn't, that is really really a scary thing.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. justa

    Well, it says he may have been, it does not say he was. Yet so many on here assume he was.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. MOCaseA

    So it sounds more like "dirty meth" than LSD to me. Living in a high meth area I've seen people do some crazy stuff, the "dirtier" (impure) the meth the more crazy they act. This though takes the cake.

    Maybe Florida needs to post signs on the Highways "Warning: Zombies are REAL! Aim for the head, not the chest."

    May 29, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
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