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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bath Salts May Have Caused Miami Cannibalism Case

The girlfriend of Rudy Eugene, 31, the man who police say horrifically ate a homeless man's face over Memorial Day weekend, is speaking out for the first time about the man she knew and loved. Eugene's victim, Ronald Poppo, 65, remains in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital with his nose, mouth and eyes torn off. His sister, Antoinette Poppo, thought he had killed himself years ago and is distraught by the news of his injuries.

The harrowing attack, which has shocked the whole world, took place on Saturday afternoon on the MacArthur Causeway near Miami beach. But Eugene's girlfriend recalled the last time she saw him on the morning of the attack, when he was holding his Bible and kissed her goodbye, saying 'I love you.'

The girlfriend, who did not wish to giver her name, spoke to The Miami Herald about her on-again, off-again boyfriend. She said on the morning of the attack he woke her up at 5:30 a.m., saying he had to run out to meet a friend. 'I told him be safe and I love you too. When he walked out the door I closed it, locked it and went back to sleep,' she said. She said she thought it was odd he was leaving so early, but didn't press the issue. An hour later, he called. 'He called me and told me his car broke down. He said, "I'll be home, but I’m going to be a little late." Then he said, "I love you and I'll be back," she said, never to hear from him again.

Eugene's girlfriend said she became concerned when he never called her back and went out to search for him. 'I was worried. I couldn't do anything. I just kept calling the phone,' she said to The Miami Herald. 'I left messages saying, "Rudy, call me, I’m really worried." When she returned home that night, she saw the news on the television about a nude man who chewed off the face of another nude man. 'I thought to myself, "Oh my God, that's crazy,"' she said. 'I didn’t know that it was Rudy.'

She continued to search for him on Sunday, but to no avail. On Monday morning, she got a call from someone in his family saying 'Rudy's dead, Rudy's dead.' She went to meet his family to grieve and that's when she learned Eugene was the 'Miami Cannibal.' She insists that he never used any recreational drugs besides marijuana and was even trying to quit. Eugene would refuse to take over-the-counter medication for headaches and was sweet and well-mannered, she said. The attack could only be explained by Eugene being drugged or the victim of a Voodoo curse, she said. 'I don't know how else to explain this,' she said.

'That wasn't him, that was his body but it wasn't his spirit. Somebody did this to him,' she said. '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.' Ruth Charles, Eugene's mother, was also shocked by the news reports of her sons crimes and reached out to the media to try and clear his name. 'Everyone says he was a Zombie. He was no Zombie. That was my son,' Ms Charles said to CBS. She said that her boy was good-natured, went to church often and had recently given her a Mother's Day card. 'I never had any problems with him,' she said, flipping open a photo album of Eugene growing up.

Mr Poppo's sister, Antoinette Poppo, also spoke to CBS, shocked not only that the victim of the notorious Miami Cannibal was her brother, but that he was alive at all. 'I really don't understand what happened,' Ms Poppo said. 'We really thought he was no longer on this earth.' Mr Poppo had been living on the streets of Florida for the past 30 years, estranged from his family who thought he had committed suicide years before.

Recently released footage of the 65-year-old's dramatic rescue shows he was still conscious and moving his arms after the attack, while Rudy Eugene's body lay next to him. After paramedics tend to the victim's facial injuries, they carefully place him on a stretcher. As they carry him from the walkway where the attack took place to the ambulance, he starts to wave his arms around and has to be strapped down.

As police piece together the last hours of Eugene's life, they believe he attended a Memorial Day weekend beach party before making the three-mile journey home on foot in more than 90F. As the attack dragged on, two other motorists called police, as did another cyclist, Larry Vega, who later told reporters that Eugene 'just stood, his head up like that, with pieces of flesh in his mouth. And he growled'. He also said it was the most gruesome and traumatic thing he had ever seen'. It is believed Eugene was under the influence of a potent form of drug called 'bath salts' at the time but toxicology results will take several weeks.

Emergency room doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said they have seen an increase in incidents related to the drug, which is referred to on the street as 'the new LSD'. 'We noticed an increase probably after Ultra Fest,' said emergency room Dr Paul Adams, at Jackson Memorial Hospital to CBS. When people take bath salts, Dr Adams said, their temperature rises to an extremely high level, causing them to rip off their clothes and become aggressive in a state of extreme delirium.

Some have been known to use their jaws as a weapon of attack, Dr Adams said, and they become 'extremely strong'. I took care of a 150 pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds, Dr Adams said to CBS. It took six security officers to restrain the individual. Dr Adams said that the new drug is not only a danger to those who take it, but also emergency responders who must restrain the drug-addled abusers of it. He added that as the body toll of this new trend of drug rises, the drug dealers that push it will be held liable for the attacks.

Long-time friend Cassandra Metayer said that Eugene was the son of Haitain immigrants and he grew up in Miami Beach. He played football and married Ms Metayer's cousin Jenny Ductant in 2005, but divorced two years later. However, the couple's divorce records, obtained by The Miami Herald, show that he had no income. 'I wouldn't say he had mental problems but he always felt like people were against him ... No one was for him, everyone was against him,' Ms Ductant said to WPLG-TV.

She said that over the course of their relationship, Eugene became increasingly violent towards her. 'That's why I left,' she said, adding that the two hadn't spoken in the past three to four years. Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show Eugene was arrested a number of times in the past few years, once for battery, trespassing, and four times for marijuana related charges. In 2004, he was arrested for threatening to kill his mother. 'We could hear him yelling and throwing things inside the house,' said Mike Pons to WPLG-TV, one of the North Miami police detectives who arrested Eugene. 'He wasn't cooperative, wouldn't follow orders, very belligerent,' Detective Pons said. 'He had that thousand-yard stare, staring right into you, not assessing or understanding what the commands were.' Eugene was one of the first people ever to be tasered by North Miami Beach police, needing to be shocked with a stun gun three times to be subdued.

A cyclist described the terrifying moment he witnessed Eugene tear pieces of flesh from Mr Poppo's face at the side of the freeway. Larry Vega, from Miami, was cycling off the MacArthur Causeway on Saturday afternoon when he saw the savage attack, which he described as 'the most gruesome, traumatic thing I have ever seen in my life'. He told WSVN: 'The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth and I told him to get off. But the guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin. 'A police officer came over, told him several times to get off then climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, "Get off!" But the guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled.'

Source & images Credit: Daily Mail, CBS News, WSVN, http://everythinginbudget.blogspot.com


Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!!!!! What is this world coming to? What hope can we have for the future of our kids and their kids? When there are These kind of drugs at their fingertips. Something, that should be about having fun, socializing, creativity can be tarnished in such a manner, that a person lost their life and the other is fighting for his own, in such a grousom manner. People must stop being so selfish and realize that, when taking DRUGS they do not only hurt themselves but those that love them and the people around them.

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