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. tuffyturf

    The test from FAZED (Federation Against Zombie Eating Dudes) just came in, and it was positive.. ZOMBIE!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Maybe he was simply a hockey fan and took the term "FACE OFF" literaly.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    Rudy must have read that part about "Eat My Body" and "Drink My Blood" a little too literally...

    May 31, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ryan

    everyone search LQP-79!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alan

    “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.

    Yes, but did God love him?

    May 31, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Earl

    Zombies eat brains to stop the pain of feeling their own dead bodies rotting.
    Duh, hasn't everybody seen Revenge of The Living Dead?

    May 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fearmonger

    Correct! He wasn't a zombie. He was a cannibal.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • kosk

      Dr. Lecter would be appalled at such a vulgar display. This guy didn't even have a nice kianti.

      May 31, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    If Barak Obama had a son, he would look just like Rudy Eugene.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ashley

    Honestly, I would shoot someone eating someone's face off too. That's ridiculous! He was probably so strung out on drugs it's not even funny... He was obviously a danger, not only to himself, but everyone else around him. What was the cop supposed to think? It's not every day you see some hyped up psycho eating someone's face....

    May 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mikeytost

    Lets be real about this the fool was more than likely high on synthetic drugs.Not a zombie but a human that had taken a legal but dangerous drug that can be bought by young and old alike.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay G

    Don't taze me bro!

    Yeah right woman – you really think a taser was going to stop that zombie? lol. Maybe you should have raised your son so he didn't become a drug junkie.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PCollen

    bath good, it makes you want to chew the face off your momma.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Siggy

    Mike Tyson wasn't a zombie either.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kevin

    Wow. Didnt need to be tazed huh? Ask the dude without a face! So he carried a bible and knew about it.... Hell, most convicts in prison can quote scripture while they are raping or murdering you. Its NEVER the black guys fault. I love the comment that Mike made " if Obama had a son, he would look like him"

    May 31, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    Corinthians 14:2- And the Lord said unto them 'Thou shall salt one's mind, and shall then consume the live flesh of his breathing brother, and growl at the unbelieving witnesses, to truly enter the gates of the father's eternal kingdom."

    See, now who's the silly one? This dude was bilbe scholar.

    May 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
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