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. Dr.Watch

    I'll be honest with you but that was no zombie attack. Maybe he overdosed on drugs more than everyone else in the world did. If he were a zombie, he would have eaten the policemen and other people in the area too.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bogie

    Jesus,God who came in the flesh,who died for all men .the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life thru Jesus.These sre just signs that Jesus is comin back repent while you have time.i urge you by the mercy of God.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jross

      Yeah ok but how about something that relates, like "Don't do drugs. They mess you up..."

      May 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat B

      Zombie attacks are a sign that Jesus is returning soon??? Please give me the scripture that says that...

      May 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. oy

    Were you there? The man was chasing after him w. a gun! and you say that the one was being chased after was killed in self defense?!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    Seriously people. Don't judge unless you know what this guy has been through. He's probably had a hard life and if you were in his shoes, you'd understand why he did what he did. I've also had a hard life and I understand why he snapped.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Dang, my life is so hard, I guess I will go eat some dudes face!!! No excuse........

      May 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • petrus in seattle

      You understand? you understand a person eating someone else's face off? Really? Please, do us a favor then, pick up the phone and call your local urgent psychiatric hotline. because you need help if you truly understand. major help.

      May 31, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • lea

      We have all had some form of a hard life. Are you suggesting this monster's face-eating behavior is acceptable if he had a hard life. REALLY? Just because you have a hard life and can't deal doesn't mean that you go and harm another person in this heinous way. If you want to snap, go ahead and snap and hurt yourself only. Don't drag other innocent people into your inability to deal. That homeless man already had a hard life too, but he wasn't eating people's faces off. He was minding his own business and this animal came and ate 75% of his freaking face off. Personal responsibility folks! GEESH!

      May 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Oops, sorry. Wrong article. I meant to comment on the Charles Manson article.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Im sorry, you are seriously saying you understand why he ate someones face off while on a drug rage?! Hard life or not, there is NO EXCUSE TO EAT SOMEONES FACE OFF! Get a grip!

      May 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. MsMaryE

    He had The Bible in one hand and drugs in the other hand. A very confused person is a dangerous person. His mother should visit the man in ICU who is now blind and faceless to help her understand why the zombie wolfman didn't respond to the taser- her son was no longer human, he was an animal.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Necrofun

    I wonder if his Bible was in hand when he turned into a zombie.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. phoodphite

    Wow. So easy for people to dispel the things a mother has to say about her son. With gun control, the gun advocates will say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. But with drugs these days, it's hard to use that same logic. Pranksters with the help of the illegal drug industry are so ready to slip something into your drink without your knowledge and turn you into someone or something else.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jay

    Yeah right, they had to shoot the guy six times before he finally stopped eating the other guy's face... what on Earth makes the mother think that he could have "been subdued with a taser?" It's okay though, he read the Bible, that makes everything he did excusable... give me a break.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    Zombie man had gorilla strength......I would have shot him too, I wouldn't take my chances with someone that is eating another guys face while he is alive and naked........the guy would have never contributed to society, he is better off dead.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bogie

    the only way for true diliverence is Jesus this dude wanted deliverence nobody there to pray for that dude.demons are out there cuz the bible says that satan knows his time is short so he coming down tearing homes families apart.the LORD MOST HIGH BE WITH YOU ALL.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mandor

    Whether or not your son was an angelic choir boy for his entire life up to that point, he chewed off 75% of a man's face. Seriously. 75% of a man's face. Whatever had gone before, in that moment he was a monster presenting a clear and present danger to the public and the officers behaved 100% correctly.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. imgottie

    Obama said,...... "If I had a son, It would look just like that zombie guy"

    May 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ZOmbieKILLAinDaHood

    Rudy Eugene looks like a zombie... eating another human.. " ZOMBIE" Growing like a " ZOMBIE." It must be a ZOMBIE !!! Shoot first ask questions later... Jesus Christ lord have mercy on the police officer who had to walk up to a crime like this imagine the terror in this police officers heart and mind.. Now he knows ZOMBIES are real...

    May 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Steve

    I wonder if this footage will be on the next episode of When Animals Attack

    May 31, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MD

    Since Jesus died & came back from the dead, doesn't that make him a zombie?

    May 31, 2012 at 7:43 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