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. FoolKiller

    A head shot was required... and so it begins.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. MOCaseA

    I wonder, if someone took a bunch of this stuff, converted it to an aerosol and sprayed it over a major metropolitan area, would the authorities call that a "Zombie Outbreak?"

    May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. DL

    "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,"
    Obviously it causes a severe case of face munchies as well.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. KingOfArcadia

    I did more than my fair share of LSD back in the day, with 0 zombie-facing-eating attacks. I would say maybe the new PCP?

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

      This is what happens when an article about drugs is written by somebody who doesn't know anybody who has ever done drugs.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Save a dollar

      Yeah, but I never chewed face on pcp either.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Michigander5


      May 29, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I agree

      May 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      it is like PCP and Meth combined and as addicting if not more as meth. Looked right into a junkies eyes as he told me he LOVED IT and when he can't get it he goes back to using Heroin. It's so bad that these junkies were shooting it right into their neck. Now I've seen people put needles in their arms but how messed up/bad do you have to be to shoot a drug into your own neck??!!

      May 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • l0lwut

      Lol, yeah I've never heard of anyone eating on on LSD or any other psychedelic. Stimulants and PCP on the other hand...

      May 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • les

      Amen to that....

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

      Yes, exactly. Thank you.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tyler Durden

      Whatever drug Dr. Lecter gave Mason Verger.... this is it

      May 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • GLawyerDC22

      Exactly! This is the new meth(x) drug. It's a absolute mis-catagorization to say it's a LSD derivative. This drug is nothing but pollution.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ak2k

      Yes. This is very far from LSD.

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

      Finally! You hit the nail on the head! These PCP stories will continue to gush out of Florida for an indefinite amount of time. The PCP Surge will continue for an indefinite amount of time and the Black Community there will continue these bizarre violent tangents for an indefinite amount of time. It all started with young Trayvon charging around a neighborhood he didn't belong in, and now it is snow balling!

      May 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      didnt belong in??? And you will be tne same fool that throws the word "freedom" around . Only when it applies to you.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Thomas

      Yeah, the new PCP is dangerous. Thats why street gangs and psycho drug users will do precisely that. They can't make an impact as a practicing American with a diploma so, hey, why not use a cheap and accessible drug that makes them ten times stronger? and," kill and eat ( or just eat em alive, don't have to cook em ) as many people as possible before I leave this backwards world?" PsYcHo's.....

      Anyone know what STUN-GUNS do to these hi-octane freaks? if anything?

      PS...maybe the "bath salts" makers have studied this calamity and know how to curem?

      NOTICE Web MD article ...
      "Ivory Wave," "Purple Wave," Vanilla Sky," and "Bliss" - all are among the many street names of a so-called designer drug known as “bath salts,” which has sparked thousands of calls to poison centers across the U.S. over the last year.

      Citing an “imminent threat to public safety,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made illegal the possession and sale of three of the chemicals commonly used to make bath salts - the synthetic stimulants mephedrone, MDPV, and methylone. The ban, issued in October 2011, is effective for at least a year. During that time, the agency will decide whether a permanent ban is warranted.

      WebMD talked about bath salts and other designer drugs with Zane Horowitz, MD, an emergency room physician and medical director of the Oregon Poison Center.

      The following is a copy of their article..."

      First of all, what are bath salts?

      "The presumption is that most bath salts are MDPV, or methylenedioxypyrovalerone, although newer pyrovalerone derivatives are being made by illegal street chemists. Nobody really knows, because there is no way to test for these substances," Horowitz says.

      Why are they called bath salts?

      "It’s confusing. Is this what we put in our bathtubs, like Epsom salts? No. But by marketing them as bath salts and labeling them 'not for human consumption,' they have been able to avoid them being specifically enumerated as illegal," Horowitz says.

      In October 2011, the DEA used its authority to place several of the chemicals used to produce bath salts under their control, and it’s likely that they will permanently illegalize the possession and sale of these chemicals and products that contain them. What impact will that have?

      "Pretty much all of these chemicals will end up permanently banned," Horowitz says. "But it's easy to say, 'We've banned them.' It's something else to police them and make them go away. Cocaine, heroin, [and] marijuana are illegal, but they are all still out there. Designer drugs like bath salts never really go away. How people make them and how they sell them are the only things that change. People will abuse them until there's a crisis that brings attention to them, then they will disappear and a new drug will come along to fill the void."

      Are bath salts illegal?

      "You can find them in mini-marts and smoke shops sold as Ivory Wave, Bolivian Bath, and other names," Horowitz says. "The people who make these things have skirted the laws that make these types of things illegal. While several states have banned the sale of bath salts, ultimately it will have to be a federal law that labels these as a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no medicinal value but a high potential for abuse, and declare them illegal."
      Why 'bath salts' are dangerous, though not illegal in all states.

      What do you experience when you take bath salts?

      "Agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidality. It’s a very scary stimulant that is out there. We get high blood pressure and increased pulse, but there’s something more, something different that’s causing these other extreme effects. But right now, there’s no test to pick up this drug. The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you they have.

      The clinical presentation is similar to mephedrone [a chemical found in other designer drugs], with agitation, psychosis, and stimulatory effects. Both of these agents should be of concern, as severe agitated behavior, like an amphetamine overdose, has occurred.

      A second concern is the ongoing suicidality in these patients, even after the stimulatory effects of the drugs have worn off. At least for MDPV, there have been a few highly publicized suicides a few days after their use," Horowitz says.

      Are bath salts addictive? How are they taken?

      "We don’t know if they are addictive. We have not had enough long-term experience with it. Acute toxicity is the main problem. But many stimulants do cause a craving. The people who take them are very creative. They snort it, shoot it, mix it with food and drink," Horowitz says.

      Bath salts are the latest example of designer drugs. Where do you see this trend going?

      "That’s right. They are part of a long line of other pills and substances that we call designer drugs. And drug makers will keep creating new combinations at home and in illicit labs," Horowitz says. "It’s almost impossible to keep up. And the motivation for buying them is always the same: Drugs like these are new and below the radar, unlike named illegal drugs."

      Nukem til they glo.

      Maybe the CIA knows the effects and how to combat them? NSA, FBI, Homeland Security?

      John Thomas

      May 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Firewalker

      ... Only Lycanthropy...

      May 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • xponential

      So? What's your point?

      May 30, 2012 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • really

      You hit it. LSD never caused reactions like this. PCP was the crazy eat your face drug back in the days of yore.

      May 30, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      PCP mixed with Meth would be a better analogy.

      May 30, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Tengu

      I would have to agree that this is more a PCP (Angel Dust) thing more so than LSD. I have seen PCP make someone able to brak police handcuffs behid their back, kick a closed locked police car door completely off the hinges and receive several broken leg and arm bones and continue fighting and running like nothing happened. Most people killed by LSD are in traffic or trying to fly from rooftops.

      May 30, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. rufus

    I am told the victim would have looked like Obam's brother had he had a brother. Now because his face is obliterated, we will never know for sure. Another tragedy. I wish Obama would speak out on this, as he should.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. NorCalMojo

    There's something very wrong with Florida.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Greenspam

    Does he also watch fox news before turning into a zombie?

    May 29, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jack James Bit@# !

    Sounds more like the rage virus from 28 Days Later than a Zombie attack. Zombie implies that the attacker is already dead. This attacker was alive and raging. Not only does this theory fit the situation more but it is more plausible and medically realistic.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. L4Dloverr♥

    This will ne the first of how its going to start!
    Then well see moree and moreeee>.<

    May 29, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. citizenUSA

    So, it was once said a "zombie apocalypse" could never happen. Once it starts it'll keep growing. AlI know is any freak coming at me or my family, joking or not, is gonna get .45 in the head just to be sure. If you're gonna act like a zombie, I'm gonna treat you like one.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Devon

    I think that police has something to do with this or the scientist have something to do with this you all have seen the movies.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 29, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Harlequinn Bell

    I think that someone needs to learn the difference between LSD and PCP, which is what I think the wrtier was thinking of. The behaviors described – the violence, the inhuman strength, the feeling extremely hot and strippin, all of it are consistent with PCP use. Staring at christmas lights and listening to Pink Floyd are the behaviors consistent with LSD use....

    May 29, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tel4n

    Sounds like a PCP mix we used to get in DC, knicknamed "buck naked". They became amazingly strong and hard to restrain (and they liked to bite)

    May 29, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kingofthenet

    Maybe Eugene was just standing his ground,from a guy who had a delicious face.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Devon

    okay we all know that it is coming so police need to make fire arms for every one.

    May 29, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
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