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.

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Florida
soundoff (1,699 Responses)
  1. Claire Eugene

    My son was a good and proper boy! How dare any of you say otherwise. You didn't know him! He was a loving and caring person. The police had no right to kill my son. Even zombies have a right to eat!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Marc

    Demonic possession comes to mind. I have had my experiences with hard drugs. The last thing I ever wanted to do was eat, never mind another person. I recall once sitting in the food-court at the mall while tripping on LSD. I almost threw up after I looked at the mexican food on my plate. "Those ain't normal Tacos".

    May 31, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthurrrr

      Demonic possession would be a FACT here. These 'bath salts' have been around for many years. So were are all the zombies???So obviously it wasn't just bath salts. It was a demon that entered this man and that is a fact not an opinion. This man may have read the Bible and loved God, but demons can and DO enter believers.And they can come with a vengence.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      I was thinking the exact same thing!

      May 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Brown

      PCP is a whole different ballgame though. LSD isn't the same and frankly the media is making a mistake trying to make it out ot be LSD. I'm not too familiar with bathsalts though. No, i've never taken any of them. Stimulants are bad drugs...period. They all make you sort of crazy to some degree.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NotForYou

    She means a "nice kid" that eats human flesh from living persons by ripping it off their face. Tiser? I's have shot, stabbed, then burned the zombie kid. It's the only way to be sure.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BethTX

    Hey, mom, your baby boy ate another guy. Maybe you should have spent a little more time with him.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |

      Dear lord, I would hate to know where she "touched" him to turn him like THAT!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      I doubt the parenting had anything to do with the guy eating another guys face off.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anvs

      Really Beth? You're going to blame this on bad parenting? Get real.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      Beth, you do realize he was 31 years old, right? SMH

      May 31, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Marek Pajak

    Maybe he wasn't a zombie the last time mom saw him, but then he was bitten by a zombie and became transformed. I realize you don't just wake up a zombie. You have to be contaminated by another zombie.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CHRIS

    the guy just ate another mans face off. He deserved to die. Forget a taser they should have shot him in the head multiple times.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      This is how we know the first responding officer is not a zombie slayer- he delivered 1+5 shots to the chest. Even my 12 year old knows that if a zombie doesn't go down after the first shot to the chest- you need to deliver a head shot. The cop wasted 4 other bullets.
      Oh- mrs Eugene- if your son isn't a zombie- then please provide the word for a guy who catches something, changes, and then eats other people.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sam

    If this creep was such a "bible carrying" man, then what was he doing messing with drugs in the first place??

    May 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeganKI

      What people need to realize about Christianity... is it is all about the HEART. You can do all kinds of outward things and be totally dead to God. Christ talks again and again about that in scripture. Man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imperious Leader

      Well said, Sam. Maybe he had a hidden compartment in the book where he stored his drugs?

      May 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • fofo

      Thank you. But then again it's usually these kinds of people, the bible thumper ones, who do the most weird stuff ever.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • macy

      Exactly! If he "carried his bible everywhere he went" he wouldn't have been under the influence. Now, I'm just waiting for someone to blame The Walking Dead for this incident. Geez........people are so stupid

      May 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MeganKI

    I agree with you Marc on demonic possession. And drugs are Satan's tool to turn a man into a monster. When I did drugs years ago, I was dead spiritually. Dead. I was full of anxiety and mental problems. I gave my life to Christ and he completely healed me, gave me joy and peace back. Things I didn't experience AT ALL before. What this man did was evil and grotesque. But really... when you think that every day babies are torn limb from limb sucked out of the really makes you think... that is Satan's work too.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      leave it to a christian to somehow tie this discussion in with abortions. sounds like religions more of a crutch for you than a savior...

      May 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • MeganKI

      Oh, we can get all up in arms about one thing, but the thought that a life is being snuffed out, a baby is being sucked out limb by limb is off limits?! Sounds like I touched a nerve. Sometime the truth hurts: abortion IS murder. So many want to pretend it's not. And what would me bringing abortion up have anything to do with using religion as a crutch?!! Bizarre statement. It's amazing the lengths people will go to to defend something that is in no way in God's plan.

      May 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • slickteigkcmo

      Yes, amen, this is all correct and true, God bless you and thank God we can be free to state our Christian beliefs, so far, yeah you!!! Praise be to our Lord God!!!!!Thank God for America and freedom of speech, religion, keep our rights safe, God bless America and give us strength to praise God and carry on our duty of upholding Christian beliefs. Demons are so real, and all over now, may we be strong and safe, guns will not protect against this evil, only God can protect us.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. alligator

    "my son was such a good boy"....."he was turning his life around"........"he read and carried the bible and could tell you about the passages"........"he was a good and caring person"...........blah blah blah, HE WAS A ZOMBIE.....HE ATE SOMEBODIES FACE!!!!!...........he got what he deserved.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |

      Sadly, it could have been better. The CDC should have been called in to capture and study Rudy. They could have isolated the zombie gene and then sold it to the military so we could grow our very own Zombie Army!

      May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Phil

    Mom must be very proud of her little zombie. She's as big a loser as her zombie son.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Juan Carlos Queipo

    He didn't have a father !!!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arthurrrr

      yes he did- his father was satan. He never really adopted God as his father.

      May 31, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      They still won't accept you!!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robert Welch

    Yes, we all make mistakes, but this man attacked another human being, and the cop shot him to keep him from killing the man. Illicit drug use kills people and in this case, drugs caused a man to be disfigured and another to die. Why would anyone want to destroy their own mind? Another reason to believe we are in the end times.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      From one Robert to another... drugs certainly don't signal the end of times. They have been around for longer than historical records can go back. There are plenty of bad things from some harder drugs when used by small minded people. There is a time and place for drug experimentation, and it's called College.
      I played around quite a bit back then. I got bored of it and realized it was affecting me negatively. 95% of people who use drugs do so recreationally, and never get addicted. That applies to most drugs. I certainly never did them alone, and very few every developed an addiction.
      Never tried Heroin, Bath Salts, or any of the new stuff though.

      May 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Justin Bieblet

    a gun shot didn't subdue him. does she really think a person on drugs is affected the same way as someone who is sober? a taser probably would have done nothing. he chose to do bath salts, he gets no say in his fate.

    May 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • J2Voor

      I dont know what some lawyer is telling the woman say, but she might want to show a little more sympathy to the fact that her "spawn" was "EATING SOMEONE ELSES FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" for 15 minutes. Hmm maybe she should be blaming the homless guy

      May 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. haris470

    Here we go again. I normally dont do the whole "liberal media" thing but this article is total crap. Did he have his bible in his hand while he was eating another guys face? No he did not, because he was too busy taking bath salts and EATING ANOTHER GUYS FACE. Im truly sorry that your son died but at some point it has to be his fault and not the police. Many people try but few will be known as the "next rodney king"

    May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Thank you for the most logical comment so far!

      May 31, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. aony

    what a sick mother! how can you give birth to a face eating zombie?! you should be in jail as well you SICKO!

    May 31, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      Wow, you actually posted this comment, lol. How could she know what her kid would do 31 years after she gave birth to him? You are really funny...roflmbo

      May 31, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
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