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. reader27932

    So the attacker was naked because he was on drugs. I don't understand why the victim was also naked?

    May 29, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. mIKE

    I hate it when people blame drugs. BTW: Bath Salts are Methylone, which has similar effects to Ecstasty. AKA – He would be more likely to kiss and hug the victim than to eat him.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    This is funny. Bath Salts have an effect more like Ecstasy than LSD. AKA: He was more likely to hug and kiss the victim than eat him. I guess this is kinda like how THC makes people go crazy right?

    May 29, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Not if the person has mental problems to begin with!!! It amazes me how casual drug users think that just because they didn't have any negative effects that the rest of the population is going to have the same reaction.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    I wish they wouldn't slander LSD like that.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jimbo

    LSD? I've been around 1000s of people on LSD, bath salts do not equal LSD. The propoganda police at work again but it will probably backfire. Now people are going to take bathsalts thinking they are going to be able to achieve the state of mind you can get with LSD and instead of philosophizing and hoola hooping they are going to be running around like rabid animals eating people. Great.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. realitypolice

    This is ridiculous. This is no different than when police and government officials stated publicly that Marijuana caused the exact same types of behavior. It was a lie then and it's a lie now. A new drug comes out, gains popularity, and to fight it officials ascribe all sorts of behavior to it guaranteed to drive the general public into hysterics.

    What evidence do they give? How can you tell someone is on a certain drug by looking at them? Here's how it works: government official fabricates a claim that Drug X causes certain behavior. The next time someone exhibits this behavior, police officer references governmental official's fabricated claim to assert that suspect was under influence of Drug X, thereby "proving" the original false claim.

    Mass public hysteria follows, drug ban achieved. See how easy that is?

    May 29, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • please

      @realitypolice – Pot was definitely overblown, but some of the synthetics are entirely capable of making someone insanely violent. PCP comes to mind.

      It does just say "make pot legal". Even coke and meth are tame compared to some of the nastier synthetics. However, it also does nothing to address the problem that there's people who will look for a "better" or "cheaper" high given that drug use is so ingrained into our culture.

      May 29, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • realitypolice

      No drug is capable, of it's own accord, of making it's user "insanely violent". What a drug MIGHT do is take someone on the verge of insane violence and push them over the edge. However, "Bath Salts" are no more likely to do this than alcohol, Oxy, or a variety of other legal substances are. Do you wish to illegalize all of those as well?

      May 29, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. There. Are. No. Gods!

    I dont know if calling "bath salts" the new LSD is accurate. I do not recall ever wanting to, or attempting to bite anyone while I was tripping. I think you should do a little more research before try to link one drug to another, it just makes you sound like an ignorant a s s.

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

      The guy who wrote this probably still believes Marijuana will make you pick up an Axe and murder your family.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Michigander5

    Whoever decided to compare LSD to bath-salts is an absolute fool; I bet they still believe they will see multicolored chickens and hobbits running around their room.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. scriss

    Freakazoid has a point – polite society simply no longer works. The "Great American Melting Pot" is an abject failure; and because of that, the ordinary citizens have to deal with the consequences.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. ModXell

    I am glad to be able to put a face to the zombie.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. Foremost Authority

    As an expert on the subject I can say that this problem is only going to get worse. The bath salts make the user very hot(hence taking off their clothes". Plus, it makes them ravenously hungry. I have seen them go without eating utensils and just a bottle of heinz ketchup to crowded areas. Also, I strongly recomment keeping bath salts away from Mike Tyson.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. kampercam

    Nom Nom Nom

    May 29, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aaron

    This is your face.

    This is your face on drugs.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Aaron: Awesome!
      I imagine Rudy's buddy (aka Scarface) will be able to tell us he got high with Rudy on bath salts and that's all the evidence they'll need. That and a toxicology test. All you "legalize LSD" junkies need to calm down with your conspiracy theories.

      May 29, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jake Rockwel

    I wouldn't compare bath salts to LSD, clearly a much different compound. Either way cannibal man is dead now so.. Problem solved.

    May 29, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Parfin Woodell

      Now i am afraid to get in the bathtub.

      May 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @©bobcat (in a hat)©,

    I've heard of losing face, but WOW.

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