The incident involving Rudy Eugene, a 31-year-old man who attacked a fellow homeless person, eating off most of his face, was what started all this "Zombie Apocalypse" talk. Both Eugene and the now-identified victim, 65-year-old Ronald Poppo were naked at the time of the attack, and it's believed drugs, perhaps "bath salts" were involved in Eugene's behavior.
The term "bath salts" in this case does not refer to something used in bathing, but instead refers to illegal designer street drugs that have been linked in the past to violent delusions and even death.
Eugene, in fact, even acted somewhat the part of a zombie, beyond just the eating off of Poppo's face. When approached by police, who shouted at him to stop his actions, Eugene raised his head, with a piece of flesh dangling from his mouth, and growled in response, something right out of an episode of "The Walking Dead." Police were forced to shoot him several times, in order to stop the attack, eventually killing him.
Speaking to CBS Miami, Eugene's mother, who asked not to be identified, said she was upset at people calling her son a zombie. She said, “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.”
She wondered why police didn't use less lethal methods. She added, "They could have tased him. I saw what happened on TV and I started crying."
Eugene's girlfriend, who also asked to remain anonymous, spoke of him, as well, indicating he was nothing like he is being portrayed. "That wasn't him, that was his body but it wasn't his spirit. Somebody did this to him. 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."
That may have been the Eugene that people knew when he was not on drugs. Police believe he was either on a new form of LSD or "bath salts." However, authorities won't know for sure if drugs played a role in the attack until toxicology reports are completed; those take about a month or so, as followers of celebrity autopsies are well aware.
Meanwhile Poppo remains in critical condition. 75 percent - or more - of his face was eaten off. Images of his face after the attack have reached the Internet; for those interested, the most horrific we have seen is here (NSFW and disturbing).
Image Source Wikimedia Commons