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. Buckwheat

    We should give this to our troops prior to doing battle with the Taliban.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dennis

    Not that I condone the use but the drugs they list don't cause you to become violent etc. methylone and mephedrone are both very similar to MDMA/ecstasy. The other, commonly known as MDPV is like a weak cocaine and does not cause hallucinations etc. this is just another way to demonize drugs (literally in this case). I think education is the key to controlling drug use and not fear, uncertainty and doubt. Eventually people realize you're lying and you then make the message unheard when something really dangerous comes along.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Zach Hubbard

      Uh yes they do make you violent. I am a medic, I have seen the violent side of a pt who is on bath salts, Im 240lb, it took me and 4 officers plus the use of the tazer multiple times to get the the individual under control. I have not seen this just once but on several occasions.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • pazke

      Dennis, are you for real? First of all, I have no faith that you have any idea what you are talking about. Second, even if those drugs don't cause the symptoms if taken individually, taken them together could cause a completely different reaction. I agree, education is better than fear, but I seriosly doubt this is some ploy by the government to scare the public away from 'bath salts'.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      You want education? I just buried my relative who was a bath salt junkie. I spoke to his other junkie friends about this drug and guess what- they told me that it does cause hallucinations! In fact they told me it last 7-10 hours (just like LSD). These people were shooting it right into their necks! Said they LOVED IT! said it was like meth, a little X, and some strong mushrooms all combined. Now maybe at small dosses it might not cause bad hallucinations I don't know as these were some pretty heavy users that I was talking too, but that is straight from the mouth of more than 1 junkie that I talked to. This is how bad it was- they said when they couldn't get it they went back to using heroin- which was more purer now bc it had to compete with the bath salt market. 2 of them even told me when they couldn't get it they would shoot themselves up with water bc just seeing the needle in their neck/arm made them feel better. Believe me I got a really brutal education from these junkies.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dontmatter

      Anyone with a basic education knows that any amphetamine will make you hallucinate. I would be careful what you post because comments like that only make you look as smart as a sock puppet. hell stay up on coffee for a few days and see if you don't start hallucinating. cmon man grow a brain.

      June 3, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. mklsgl

    Seems more like PCP than LSD.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • tport

      100% agree with you. People have forgotten how PCP affected people in the 80's.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. sxj016

    Where can I get some of those bath salts? I want to be a zombie 🙂

    May 29, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Damon Bowman

    ...and the reason the officers on the scene didn't shoot to kill the man trying to eat another man is...?

    May 29, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • rtbrno65

      They did shoot him.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jennyfer1bautista

      They shot him 4 times 😮 i think, but they did shoot him

      May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. theshoelessone

    Calling bath salts "the new LSD" is one of the most misleading statements made in this article. LSD does not make people go on face-eating rampages. Mostly it makes you sit around and enjoy "Sgt. Pepper" a bit more than usual and have really great conversations.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      I saw a sports writer yesterday refer to marijuana as a "herbal hallucinogen". Most people are pretty clueless about what actual physiological effects specific drugs have on a person.

      May 30, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Steve

    I have to say I've never felt an actual need for a handgun, until I read this article.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • rtbrno65

      Yep. The Bath Salt Zombies are comin' for ya!

      May 29, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Zach Hubbard

      Every law abiding citizen should have a gun. You will never need a handgun until your in that situation when you wish you had it.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. sxj016

    The guy was probably crazy, but leave it to the DEA and LEO to try to use it as a power grab by blaming some compound which is harmless. Nice going DEA and LEO...good to see you are still up to your old tricks 😉

    May 29, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Freakazoid

    @Stan Smith, "bath salts" is a euphamistic label which has nothing to do with the traditional meaning of bath salts, e.g. epsom salt. The active ingredient is methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV, which presently is not on the criminal table of controlled substances. That cannot be readily produced from commercially available ingredients like meth. Underemployed chemical engineers, mostly european, are concocting these so they stay one step ahead of the law. As soon as this chemical compound is made illegal, they will pull the next recipe out of the filing cabinet and enjoy another window of manufacturing until that next drug is made illegal.

    There's a segment of society that likes drugs, that are chemically dependent because that's easier than dealing with reality. Now, the government is enabling them by making them comfortable with welfare handouts even if they do lay around high all day. To me, this is another persuasive reason to expand "Stand your ground" concealed firearm possession laws. The social contract between men is broken, and you cannot trust that other wierdo in our melting pot.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • MsB

      Freakazoid, you are assuming because this indivdual was "Black" that it's only "Blacks" that are using this "bath salts". May I suggest that you do a little research on the users of "bath salts".

      May 29, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Airborne Ranger

      This has absolutely nothing to do with race, this individual was on 'bath-salts', hospitals have seen an increase in cases such as this and did not indicate the race to which these cases belonged, please stop using race as an excuse for your own bigotry.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don_In_DC

      Uhm where the hell do you get "blacks" from Freakazoids post??? there isn't a single reference to race at all. Lots of racism in this world and it isn't unique to "whites". I guess you are stereotyping his response because it says "welfare" and you assume that to be a racist thing. Jeez.

      May 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • JbkhxC

      2 MSB why do you think freak is assuming? Nothing in there says anything about black and the nature of bath salts. he was simply explaining its origin and his tiny opinion about how we should be allowed to carry guns for situations like this.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      Yes, illegalize all of those things that people use to avoid dealing with reality. Let's start with the most common; religion and alcohol.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodboy

      I think music and TV come before religion as opiates.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arauna

      Thank goodness someone else feels this way! I was starting to think I was the only one.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowboardfoo

      hahahahaaaaa so true.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      You're non-sensical. Even if drugs were legal, there would still be those who seek synthetic drugs which give them more of a potent high. Then the synthetic drugs would be more in demand than the natural drugs and the killings would continue. Then those like you would demand that synthetic drugs be legalized. It never ends with you people.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • J-Bob the Builder

      Look, drug and alchohol related violence will always occur as long as we are a "free" and rich nation. Out of the population that uses drugs, only a very small percentage would be so dissatisfied w/ 'natural" substances, that they would turn to synthetics. Natural drugs can pack quite a punch. Legalization has many pros. and many cons, but I look at it like this. The ppl who are gonna use, will, regardless of legal status. But by being illegal, we make its sale and distribution profitable for the most cut-throat, vile, and violent individuals. Thus, stoking fear and violence, while missing out on descent tax revenues. Look at prohibition. They had to legalize these things to stop the organized crime. The only way to do that is to cut off the supply of $. IE-Booze and illegal gambling. Both are now socially accepted. Hell, look at the lottery! most things, in time, are acceptable to society. Fear and religious ideologies have made drug use unacceptable in our "christian" nation. I know many ppl who use illegal drugs and are good, honest americans. More trustworthy than many non-users that I know. Furthermore, what's the difference between illegal and prescription? Can we really outlaw molecules? What actual purpose does it serve an educated society? Are we spending more than we're saving? Are we losing more lives to drug cartel violence than we are to drug abuse? Are we on track to success, w/ a growing world population? The use will never stop, but how we deal w/ it as a nation is the question at hand. Things for us all, as educated US voters, to think about.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Max Brooks from Florida

      You think everyone using legal drugs like alcohol and soon-to-be-legal drugs like marijuana would quit using those drugs and start using some brand new drug made in a lab? Wow........

      May 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dr of many things

      Thanks for the good info, Freak. Let's hope this substance doesn't become the new drug in town. If so, the public beware! Miami is weird enough as it is...

      May 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom K

      You sound like a very intelligent, well-rounded individual. Your opinion was right on the money.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Which benefits are you referring to exactly? The unemployment benefits, that consumers pay into by being employed?

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

      Never before have I seen such a correct, concise statement about the drug situation. Yes, the "War on Drugs" is a complete failure. The only positive thing it does is create jobs related to enforcing the "War"! Thank you!!

      And, you are correct in expanding the "Stand Your Ground" laws. It seems to be the only recently passed law that gives any deference to an honest, law-abiding taxpayer!

      A solution to which I adhere is that one given in the movie "Traffic," in which a South American drug lord told how his country's drug rehabilitation worked. "The addicts rehabilitate themselves! We give them all the drugs they want and they either stop taking drugs and live, or they continue taking them and they die"!

      No one holds a gun on a person and makes them take drugs! It's their choice! They also have the choice to quit or not, and it's not the taxpayers duty to pay for treatment!

      One drug treatment center owner gave the flimsy excuse for keeping government-funded treatment - medication that helps the addict "ease off" the addiction. "They are a poor population and can't afford $450/mo. and up for their medication." Oh! But they could afford $2,500/mo. and up for their drug habit!!!

      May 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • McMAN71

      Your first paragraph was right on the money. Your second, however, is deluded. For starters, there is no excuse to give individuals police powers without police training. Self defense is one thing, but that is for a court of law to decide. As for these new designers drugs like bath salts and "herbal incence", they are more proof that marijuana and maybe even powder cocaine should be made legal for recreational use. It comes down to a safety factor. Product safety and an end to specific criminal activity are the two main reasons why alcohol prohibition was recinded. If people weren't dying from bathtub gin, and mobsters weren't shooting each other over bootlegged booze, it might still be illegal. If you were to make pot and cocaine legal, not only would the Mexican cartels disappear, but you would also see the end of crack, heroin, bath salts and the fake weed. There would also be more tax revenue gained than by ending the Bush tax cuts.

      May 29, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Thank god you are not in a position of power...

      May 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • sixfoot

      well. at least marijuana is still illegal!!! or he would have ate more!!! or maybe then they would stop making all these horrible new drugs cause they are legal

      May 29, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Btea5503

      You don't need "Stand your ground" for something like this. This is just self defense period!

      May 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • sxj016


      May 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      "To me, this is another persuasive reason to expand "Stand your ground" concealed firearm possession laws. The social contract between men is broken, and you cannot trust that other wierdo in our melting pot."
      Sounds as if you've been smoking rolled-up Glenn Beck books or something; you're as crazy as the zombie dude and just as eager to kill someone. Get a life.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mylife55

      You forgot "it's Obama's fault"... Blah blah blah...

      May 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • NothingsShocking

      Yeah, let's take this extreme and bizarre case and use it as a soapbox for your mindless conservative babbling about welfare and guns. Real smart, Mr. Hannity.

      May 29, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bart

      Thank you for the explanation. I was getting worried as my wife uses Calgon Bath Oil Beads. God only knows what she would try to bite off. I was seeing my whole life pass before me!

      May 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      You know nicotine and alcohol are drugs too, right? The problem isn't that some people "like drugs." The problem is that this country treats the addicted like they're human garbage. Haven't you ever noticed that when you treat someone in a certain way, they respond to that in kind? If you would rather be the kind of person who kills everyone who does not live the way you want them to live, what are you waiting for? Don't be a coward and pay the government to do it for you, YOU go out and show people how you think we should live. No? Then quit complaining because someone else wants to treat drug addicts humanely. You won't bother, so *someone* has to do it.

      May 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      You know in movies this is how the zombie apocalypse starts... in all seriousness though Prohibition has never worked These drugs like moonshine are just one sign of that. If you tell people they can't do something it makes them want to do it even more and in countries with similar bans to us usage/abuse rates are similar to our own where in countries like Portugal with more relaxed drug laws have incredibly lower usage/abuse rates compared to ours. This in itself lends credence to the fact that addition in part has a correlation with social stigmas involving drugs. In other words by treating people who use these drugs like criminals accusers actually making things worse because the accusers are creating the socially stigmatic environment that helps drug abuse and addiction take hold. Pretty ironic if that hypothesis turns out to be true, though I guess I could just point to Prohibition as possible proof of theory.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • s kel

      I hope one on that "bath salt"sneaks up behind you and eats your neck!

      May 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kin

      Freakazoid, you should have stopped before writing your second paragraph. The fact is, people like drugs, period. Whether those drugs are alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, cocaine or cannabis is irrelevant. They dont have to be physically dependent to enjoy doing them, as many people do, and your comments about government handouts reeks of political BS.

      May 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • stanky

      cigs, alcohol, pot, cocaine, prescription pain killers~ there is more people who like drugs than who dont

      May 30, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • scranton

      Excellent post.

      May 30, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Up2Late

      Well said!

      May 30, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • lloyd roberts

      Do you include alcohol in your dependency tirade. Alcohol is connected to at least 60 percent of violent crime

      May 30, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • BillyBrasky

      Maybe we just need to get realistic about our drug policies in this country. This has nothing to to with welfair, and not sure why you entered it into the dicusion. This has to to with the fact that there will always be a demand for drug in every society on the planet, and the way we go about fighting drugs problems has been an epic and costly failure.

      May 30, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Your 100% correct still sold in Fl.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
    • CharlotteDad

      What a scary little world you live in. Watching the news all day, scared of everything. This is a awful crime, but it's one person out of the 311,000,000 people that live in my country. Thank goodness we have scared conservatives like you to help! If one gun makes you feel like a big man, how about carrying 3 or 4. Maybe a bandolier of bullets like Rambo! Better yet just stay down in your bunker and leave the rest of us alone.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Dontmatter

      It is now for 12 months and a possible 6 month extension after the 12 months. I just read it before coming here so it has been added by "Emergency Order" so it says. I believe it should be.

      June 2, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jennyfer1bautista

    😐 okay I'm getting tired of, "he MIGHT have been on drugs" or "police say they SUSPECT" its like someone tell us already if he was a zombie or not and stop making assumptions D:

    May 29, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. ModXell

    Pretty awesome. Now the comics world and real world are closer thank you think. Zombie Apocalypse is here!!

    May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. SparkBunny- the colony, tx

    Yes... Drugs... Right. Perhaps the gov't is just forcing the media to report it as drug related to tamp down the panic of an impending level 2 zombie outbreak. Think i'll go build a treehouse this week.... J/k.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. PRXSII

    I can tell there are some 'zombie-fanatics' out there; admittedly I am one of them. But as 'horror-movie' as this all sounds – think about it. People are complaining about the officer shooting our 'high-zombie-friend' because he would not stop eating a man's face. All it takes in a real-world scenario is some disgruntled and/or psychotic bio-geneticist to simply tinker with something at the genetic level in a lab, and unleash it on everyone causing the very same results. Of all the 'horror' we see on the big screen, we never stop to realize that we as humans have learned so much about DNA, viruses, bacteria, and even the human genome, that the concept of 'zombies' is more real that you ever imagined. Look at flesh-eating bacteria – we never thought that would be possible until some strain of Staph mutated and became resistant to just about everything we have to fight it...

    May 29, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. JeffBoostLee

    Well folks, if this isn't convincing enough of the importance in protecting yourself... then you are helpless and confused.
    It's CRAZY to think how "zombie-like" this incident was... but it's MIND-BLOWING to think that if Eugene the Face-eater indeed did take bath salt, How many more "zombie-like" incidents are we going to have? ..........And if they find out that the cause of his actions weren't of an external substance....................................... The apocalypse begins. 😉 All kidding aside, protect yourself. Our Law Enforcement is great, but they're not magicians and they aren't just going to appear when you call. I'd rather have a gun in my hand than a cop on the phone..............or an unrecognizable face that I'd have to live with the rest of my life.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • DMR

      We've already given Florida to crazy people like you, where you guys can shoot each other to death. What more do you need?

      May 29, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Skipper

      Jeff..... Exactly how many flesh eating zombies have you been attacked by? I'm guessing the number is close to zero. Given a moment of honest reflection, 99.9% of the people reading this have never needed a gun and, nearly as likely, don't personally know anybody who ever needed one either. The world seems like a scarier place, but that's because every bizarre act of random violence makes the 24/7 instant news cycle.

      May 29, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @Skipper. How many times in your life have you needed a fire extinguisher, seat belt, or life insurance?? True, the likely-hood of needing these things are minimal, however I'm sure that if you ever NEED them, you will be very grateful to HAVE them. Same goes for firearms..

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

      Jeff, don't get naked with your buddy/victim/perp doing bath salts off the interstate, and you should be ok.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Man_Eater

    Some say he was crazy. Others may argue it was the drugs. Lets get straight to the truth; the guy was hungry.

    May 29, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
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