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. Johnna

    Maybe the zombie needed some bath pepper to go with the bath salts?

    May 29, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cara

      That is not even funny. I am sure you would be saying the same thing of 75% of your face was ripped off!

      May 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KED

    I find it a strange juxtaposition, having the "flesh-eating" zombie article link directly below the "flesh-eating" bacteria girl article link – too much so to be coincidental.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sumday

    why are there a bunch of GOP people on bath salts coming?

    May 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marceau

    Rudy Eugene's race is apparent. But the victim's race was not mentioned. Isn't this important in reporting? Other prominent cases in Florida seem to demonstrate the need to know what races are involved in this incident.

    Larry vega witnessed the attack. Had he of been armed, would he have been able to stop the attack sooner? But had he of attacked to save a life, then would he be liable for murder or manslaughter.

    Perhaps someone could shed some light.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Your post is bewildering. I can't even tell what sort of racist you are! And as for the person who thinks the cop used excessive force...If one naked man eating the face of another naked man does not justify use of lethal force, what on Earth would be considered justification for discharging a weapon with the intent to kill? I don't own a gun and don't condone the use of guns, but your position is positively nutty! Unless you're being sarcastic. Hmm...maybe you were. That would explain your comment.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |

      Let there be

      May 29, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DIrk

    I bet the guy took lithium.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GoodJobBob

    Florida again.

    Why am I not surprised?

    May 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. maria

    First learn how to write it is :DEMOCRATS and second you have a vile mind ,typical of Republicans you probably watch Fox Tv 24/7 do you? Just VILE ,EVIL......

    May 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George Washington

    Should just make all drugs illegal, unless they are registered with the Federal government. Then these dime a dozen chemists can't claim any legality of their new concoction.
    Although I am now going to get a carry permit and a few protectors.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • yang

      how about making all drugs legal, and then people wouldn't have to resort to crazy stuff like "bath salts"?

      May 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • steven harnack

      Do you really want to have to get a prescription for your morning cup of coffee? Or do you expect there to be a bunch of "except fors", kind of like now?

      May 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |

      You can go to your doctor for Aspirin.

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

    The immediate use of lethal force does not appear justified. The "officer" is trained to handle extreme sitations involving mentally ill persons. The "officer" had other supposedly non lethal means at his disposal. With respect for the hard and sometimes dangerous job policework can be... ANY 'officer" who discharges their weapon into an american citizen or any other person should be subject to immediate blood, urine, AND HAIR analysis. Does that not just seem like good sense? The officer panicked and did not utilize his training or the various supposedly non lethal means at his disposal. There should be an investigation. The "officers" membership in NRA or any other firearm clubs SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC. ALL DETAILS ABOUT THE SHOOTING SHOULD BE MADE PUBLIC. The "officer" by virtue of being on the public payroll and accepting the pay and pensions that come with that has voluntarily surrendered any right to privacy about his NRA membership and other salient details relevant to how he will intepret his role in policework.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Are you serious? The attacker was chewing another guy's face off! I would have shot him too. Screw using non-lethal force. What if the attacker got up and started chewing on the officer? I am 100% behind the officer's actions.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      @I am Citizem, you must be smoking crack. Wasn't justified? This man was in no condition to be talked down. He was in the process of KILLING another person. If you think the shooting wasn't justified, you're either an idiot, or taking bath salts yourself.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • steven harnack

      It does seem that a nightstick upside the head might have been a better first response, but with your pistol in your other hand if the stick only made him mad(er).

      May 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      This is one of the few times I have to agree with the Cops action. What if that maniac started to attack him, and spreading all that blood all over him. The nut was a waste of space anyway. I have nor room in my heart, or any sympathy for drug users, I don't care what walk of life they are.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      If someone is eating my face off I want them shot. If they are eating your face off we can stop and question them, bring in a psycologist, and test the competency of the officer, after you are dead they can shoot him.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • GriffenAngel

      Why does it matter if he is a member of the NRA? Regardless of whether the officer was justified in using deadly force to stop a man from eating another, how is his membership in clubs relevant in any way? Focus on what is relevant.

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

      Yes, lets just worry about the gun that saved the victims life and not the obvious issue of drugs and horror. If you were the victim you would be sreaming for the guy who ate your face to be shot, and be angry if he didn't. Cops face horrorific events in their job, and cannot...I repeat..CANNOT put themselves into danger by going to fight the bad guy hand to hand. THe drug induced strength and insanity could overpower the cop, he could be hurt or killed, thus letting this madman to get away and attack your children or you! It has nothing to do with guns here. It had to do with safety of the officer, and the public her serves. I am proud of the officer for being brave enough to courageously pull his gun even though it will haunt him the rest of his life. Stop criticizing the cops for keeping you safe, and support them. They would listen to you complain, then take a bullet for you. Until you have lived that life, you have no ability to understand. An intelligent person doesn't try to use every single happening (especially ones that prove them wrong) to support their stupid political agenda. Something horrific happened, the cop saved the mans life and protected everyone elses in the area. End of Story. It wasn't a political event, only an idiot would try and make it one. I am a proud citizen of the USA who is proud of that cop for his courage in that event. My tax payer dollars pay for it and I am glad to know we are all safer today because of him.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PassingThrough

    I'm thinking the victim had to be on some kind of do you just sit there and let a person eat your face?!?!?!?

    May 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chuck Finley

    Bath salts as the new LSD? Seems more like PCP to me.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alan

    He was using bath salts? Wouldn't meat tenderizer have been better.

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

    Get real. This is the 21st century you fool

    May 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mitzy

    Frightening to think that these monsters roam around amongst us.

    May 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Molly

    I can believe the "bath salts" are a possibility. I have a friend whose son did the bath salts and became psychotic and smashed a window in his car. He was admitted to the hospital and nearly died. I believe it was the first time he had used them.

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