(Photo by Miami Beach Police Department via Getty Images)
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rudy Eugene, the Causeway Cannibal who ate the face off a homeless man he attacked along the MacArthur Causeway, was apparently not high on bath salts or any other exotic street drug at the time of the attack, according to a report released Wednesday by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner.
The news leaves law enforcement officials wondering what drove Eugene to strip off his clothes, attack homeless man Ronald Poppo, and chew off pieces of flesh from Poppo’s face.
Speculation about the cause of Eugene’s rampage on Poppo’s face centered on drugs, specifically bath salts, after police union officials claimed an increase in bizarre behavior among people on the street using such drugs.
The much-anticipated toxicology report released by Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma found marijuana in Eugene’s system, something CBS4 News had previously reported, but no evidence of any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs.
The report said this includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Ecstasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.
Hyma’s office specifically ruled out bath salts, a class of synthetic drugs that have been known to cause bizarre behavior and overheating of people who use them, two things that made some believe Eugene’s cannibalistic behavior could be blamed on the drugs.
“The department has also sought the assistance of an outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory, which has confirmed the absence of “bath salts,” synthetic marijuana and LSD,” the report said.
The news from the medical examiner sends investigators back to square one as they look for what caused Eugene’s bizarre behavior.
A girlfriend and a friend who had seen Eugene hours before the attack said he had used marijuana, but had seen him use no other drug before traveling to the Urban Beach Weekend on Miami Beach the morning of the attack.
Eugene abandoned his car on the beach and walked back to Miami on the MacArthur Causeway, stripping off his clothes during the three-mile trip, and at one point he was spotted swinging from a lamp post.
Once on the Miami side of the causeway, he encountered Poppo where the MiamiMover crosses the causeway, in view of security cameras atop the Miami Herald building. Those cameras detailed how the naked cannibal attacked the much older Poppo, knocked him to the ground, and stripped him of his clothing.
Once overcome, Eugene chewed flesh from Poppo’s face, but a later autopsy report found he did not actually eat it.
A police officer was called to the scene by people who spotted the bizarre attack. He tried to intervene but was forced to shoot, killing Eugene and apparently striking the badly wounded Poppo.
Poppo, who was taken to Ryder Trauma Center, survived the attack but has no memory of it. His face was virtually destroyed but doctors say much of it can be repaired.
Eugene’s family and friends say they are clueless about why he attacked Poppo, claiming the former high school football player and car wash employee had never shown such violent tendencies. Many believed drugs were to blame, but with Wednesday’s report the search has begun for a new cause for one of South Florida’s most bizarre crimes.
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Bed Bath and BEYOND? Add yet another substance you can be arrested for…
(Source: CBS4) Rudy Eugene, from 2006 mug shot.
UPDATED May 29th, 2012 4:07 p.m.
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The crime shocked South Florida and has drawn the attention of the world. A naked man is shot by Miami Police while eating another naked man’s face on the MacArthur Causeway.
As the story quickly went viral across the Internet, some have likened the attack to one by a zombie. Details of the unthinkable attack included police reporting that when they ordered the cannibal to stop, he looked up with blood on his face and growled at officers.
- Click here for the original story about the cannibalistic attack.
The suspected cannibal has been identified by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s officer as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene. Eugene may have been homeless at the time of the attack, his last known address was in North Miami.
Eugene grew up in South Florida and attended North Miami Beach High in the late 90′s, where he played for the school’s football team according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. He later transferred to North Miami Senior high.
Court records showed he was married to Jenny Ductant in 2005 and divorced two years later. Ductant declined to talk about her ex-husband when contacted by CBS4 reporter Gio Benitez
Since news of the unthinkable attack first broke, the big question has been, why? Why did the man attack the other? Why were they naked? Why did the attacker turn into a cannibal on the causeway?
The president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Armando Aguilar believes the entire incident is the fault of a new drug trend that has led to similar incidents. Emergency room doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said they too have seen a major increase in cases linked to the street drug called “bath salts” or the new LSD.
“We noticed an increase probably after Ultra Fest,” said emergency room Dr. Paul Adams, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
In many of the cases, Dr. Adams said the person’s temperature has risen to an extremely high level, they’ve become very aggressive. Some have used their jaws as a weapon during attacks. Dr. Adams said the patients were in a state of delirium.
“Extremely strong, I took care of a 150 pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds,” Dr. Adams said. “It took six security officers to restrain the individual.”
Adams said the extreme strength and violence of patients on “bath salts” has become a significant threat to all those charged with the task of trying to help those high on the drug.
“It’s dangerous for the police,” Adams said. “It’s dangerous for the fire fighters. It’s dangers for the hospital workers taking care of them because they come in, they have to be restrained both chemically and physically and you’re asking for someone to get hurt.”
Aguilar said drug dealers aren’t aware that the liability could fall back on them.
“I have a message for whoever is selling it out there,” said Aguilar. “You can be arrested for murder if you are selling this LSD to people, unsuspecting people on the street and somebody ends up dying as a result you will be charged with murder.”