Verne Strickland Blogmaster / June 27, 2012
It wasn't bath salts. It was pot.
According to a full toxicology report released Wednesday afternoon by the Miami-Dade medical examiner, the only drug detected in the lifeless body of infamous Miami face-chewer Rudy Eugene was marijuana.
"The department's toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana," the medical examiner said in a statement, according to NBC Miami. "The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs...This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Extasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds."
CBS Miami reports that the medical examiner's office sought the assistance of an "outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory" to help confirm the absence of common ingredients of bath salts, a synthetic amphetamine cocktail blamed in several recent incidents that bear some similarity to Eugene's attack.
"Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories," read the report from Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma, "marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene."
Eugene, 31, was widely speculated to have been on some form of synthetic drugs or suffering a drug-induced psychosis the afternoon of May 26 when he stripped naked and brutally attacked homeless resident Ronald Poppo in broad daylight along Miami's busy MacArthur Causeway, chewing and ripping off roughly half of the older man's face.
A police officer responding to multiple 911 calls shot and killed Eugene as he crouched over Poppo, reportedly refusing to stop the gruesome assault by growling at the officer with Poppo's flesh in his mouth. The 18-minute attack and its aftermath were captured on surveillance video from the Miami Herald's parking garage, but it is still unknown what prompted Eugene to commit such a horrific crime.
Records show the former North Miami Beach High football player had been arrested 8 times since the age of 16, including 4 instances involving marijuana. But though he was once accused of threatening to kill his mother, friends and family members alike say they never expected such violence from Eugene, who was participating in a Bible study, reading the Koran, and telling friends he wanted to stop smoking marijuana.
“Something happened out of the ordinary that day. I don’t want him to be labeled the Miami Zombie,” Eugene's girlfriend told the Herald. “He was a person. I don’t want him to go down like that.”
Poppo, meanwhile, is doing "well," according to doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. The 65-year-old has lost one eye, is missing his nose, and faces a string of surgeries to repair his wounds and reconstruct his face.
"We have mental health professionals to help him with the coping, and he's coping remarkably well," said plastic surgeon Dr. Wrood Kassira.