May 31st, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Face-attack suspect's mother: My son 'was no zombie'

The mother of Rudy Eugene, who was shot and killed by a police officer as he chewed the face off a homeless man in Miami, says her son was "a nice kid" who could have been subdued with a Taser rather than gunfire.

"He was a good kid. He gave me a nice card on Mother’s Day. Everyone says he was a zombie. He was no zombie. That was my son,” the mother, who asked that her name not be revealed, told CNN affliate WFOR.

'Zombie apocalypse' trending as bad news spreads quickly

Eugene, 31, was killed by a police officer on Saturday after an 18-minute attack on a homeless man, identified by police as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo. Video of the incident shows Eugene coming across Poppo on a sidewalk along Miami's MacArthur Causeway, stripping clothes off him and eventually chewing on his face.

Police said Poppo lost 75% of his face in the attack. He was in critical condition at a Miami hospital.

Eugene's mother said police didn't need to shoot her son.

"They could have tased him," she told WFOR. "I saw what happened on TV and I started crying.”

Eugene's girlfriend, who also requested anonymity from WFOR, said the attacker seen in that video was nothing like the man she lived with.

“He loved God. He always read the Bible. He would give you knowledge on the Bible. Everywhere he went his Bible went. When he left he had his Bible in his hand,” the girlfriend is quoted as saying.

“That wasn’t him, that was his body but it wasn’t his spirit.  Somebody did this to him,” WFOR quotes her as saying.

Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar told CNN affiliate WPLG that he suspects Eugene was under the influence of "bath salts," a drug that contains synthetic stimulants that can "cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions," according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

"He was a nice, outgoing, ready-to-help-anybody kind of guy," Cassandra Metayer, a high school friend of Eugene's, told WFOR. “Someone in their right mind doesn’t do that. This is not the act of a normal person. It has to be someone under the influence."

Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said officials won't know for certain whether drugs played a role in the attack until toxicology reports are completed in a month or so. But he said police have been seeing increased incidents of drug-induced crime in the area.

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Florida
soundoff (1,699 Responses)
  1. Brian

    I agree. If the first gunshot had no affect on him what does she think a taser would do? Everyone knows tasers don't have any affect on zombies.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zombie land

      Exactly. It's part of surviving zombies, DOUBLE TAP! Lol

      May 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nicksints

    I think the mother should just use the zombie card.
    That way her son won't look like an insane druggie cannibal, and we could give her family a little sympathy.
    Everyone knows zombies aren't responsible for doing typical zombie eating people's faces.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Former F-22 Raptor Pilot

    Isn't sushi supposed to be freshly killed before it's consumed?

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Billy D

    If he wasn't a zombie, the why did he not die until shot in the head? Huh? Huh?

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Maud StJames

    A nice, helpful boy doesn't chew the face off another man. This creature did, so... QED. Reports say that the policeman shot the cannibal at least once, perhaps twice and the creature didn't stop. What makes anyone think a taser would have had any effect? If he were to save the victim's life – and perhaps others – the policeman had no choice but to make a kill shot. After all, imagine the firestorm if the policeman had not stopped the monster and he had escaped and gone on to kill/eat/mutilate/whatever other victims?

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lunchin

    Jesus was a zombie...

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GeoffW

    Rationalization, delusion and lack of personal responsibility taken to an all time high. "Nice boys' are definitionally not FACE EATING CANIBALS.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bathsaltydog

    You obviously have too much time on your hands to be posting that completely off topic baseless rhetorical crap. Thanks for wasting our time now go occupy something...

    May 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. One less POS in jail

    Glad they killed this psycho. There's no telling what this crazy guy was capable of. At least now he won't go to jail for 10 years and get released by our liberal judges. Feel bad for the homeless man who was probably drunk or unconscious when this happened.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DBinVA

    Reading the Bible doesn't make you a good person any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liam

    Oh? A taser could've subdued a man who was so high he started eating a guy's face? I don't think so. This was a textbook example of when a police officer should use deadly force.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • palerider

      yup,if not the cop would have been next.heck when the cop shot him the first time he just looked up and grawled at him...yup remember head shots people...head shots.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. palerider

    "cocain" like substances...yeah um no never heard of anyone doing this on alil coke,or even there has to be more to this or the stuff in those bath salts are maybe military grade substances that have been released to the public as a test....most if not all hard drugs come from the military and or controlled setting.just food for thought.

    May 31, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ziva

    Mama, your son was not a zombie. He was a cannibal. Now if we see him doing this again, after being shot dead, THEN he is a zombie. I'm sure he was a nice boy, but not so much a nice man...

    May 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. End Is Near

    Mitt Romney born a unicorn, kangaroo's stalking/attacking people, zombie attacks…Its time to face the fact that the end is very near!

    May 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dooky

    yellow-eyed zombie i says

    May 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77