The family of the “Miami Zombie” Rudy Eugene (pictured left), who viciously ripped off and ate pieces of Ronald Poppo’s (pictured right) face in a savage and unprovoked attack on May 26, have now come forward to speak out about how unbelievable his crime was and how he had to have been drugged by someone in order to commit the near-fatal assault.
Eugene’s mother, Ruth Charles (pictured left), told ABC News affiliate WPLG that her son could never commit a crime so heinous. Charles adamantly believes her son was drugged by someone, then dumped in the area where he stumbled upon Poppo and perhaps felt threatened by the homeless man.
Watch Eugene’s mother speak here:
Ironically, Charles was once the victim of her son’s “non-violent” behavior, with Eugene, on one occasion, reportedly trying to kill her. At the time, when the North Miami police were summoned to the Mother’s home, they wound up reportedly tasering Eugene to get him in control.
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Even still, the defensive Mom won’t believe that her son would violently attack Poppo without drugs, . Keeping to her version of events of how Eugene had to be on drugs — even after she viewed the surveillance video of the gory events — she said, “When you are awake, you are like a confused patient,” Charles told WPLG. “Whoever you see, you go and fight.”
On the newly released 18-minute surveillance video, Eugene is seen naked, straddling a sleeping Poppo, then viciously pounding and ripping pieces of Poppo’s flesh off his face. As police arrive to pacify the crazed Eugene, who is by now growling, they order him to step away from Poppo, who is now practically faceless and lying in a pool of blood. The 31-year-old Eugene not only ignores the police orders but growls at them, then he continues the heinous act of eating the 65-year-old man’s face. The officers are then forced to fire a hail of bullets at Eugene, and he dies at the scene.
Watch the surveillance video here:
Contrary to what Charles says about her son, Eugene’s ex-wife, Jenny Ductant, says that Eugene was always violent. After being married to him for 18 months, Ductant says she left him because she feared for her life, “I wouldn’t say he had [a] mental problem, but he always felt like people was against him type of attitude. No one was for him, everyone was against him.”
Eugene’s current girlfriend, who does not want to be identified, told WPLG that she saw her “religious” boyfriend on the morning of the crime. The woman claims that Eugene did not appear to be on any drugs and that he told her he was going to visit a friend. The woman is still in disbelief that she actually wanted to marry a man who could commit such an unthinkable crime.
“He did not abuse drugs,” she said, crying. “I don’t understand. Somebody did something to him…that wasn’t him.”
Investigators are now trying to determine whether Eugene was under the influence of a new potent LSD-type designer drug commonly referred to as “bath salts,” which can cause agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, a rise in body temperature, increased pulse rate, and thoughts of suicide.
Meanwhile, Poppo is in intensive care, and doctors are saying that if he survives, recovery will be a long arduous process. Poppo will need major facial reconstruction: He has one eye gouged out, his nose and face were bitten off, and all he basically has left is his chin and goatee.
Doctors are not giving specifics about Poppo’s current medical situation. They are saying, though, that human bites can be extremely infectious, and if the bacteria cannot be controlled, Poppo could wind up losing more of his face.
Poppo, who once graduated with an IQ of 129 from a prestigious New York City high school for the academically gifted and once aspired to be president of these United States, is now fighting for his life at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Meanwhile, Eugene’s friends and relatives are still questioning how their loved one could have committed such a gruesome crime that will never be forgotten.
What do you think?