Face-Eating Cannibal Attack May Be Latest in String of 'Bath Salts' Incidents

PHOTO: This combo made with undated photos made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. shows Rudy Eugene, 31, left, who police shot and killed as he ate the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, right, during a horrific attack in the shadow of the Miami Herald's he
Miami-Dade Police Dept./AP Photo

On May 26, Miami police shot and killed a homeless man who was allegedly feasting on the face of another homeless man in a daylight attack on a busy highway. Before now-infamous "face-eating cannibal" Randy Eugene was stopped by four police bullets, say authorities, he had gnawed the face of victim Ronald Poppo down to his goatee. "The forehead was just bone," said a witness. "No nose, no mouth." Police said that Eugene, 31, who had ripped off his clothes and refused police orders to stop eating Poppo's flesh, showed behavior consistent with ingesting the synthetic cocaine substitute known as bath salts. Bath salts have been connected to a range of violent incidents and a spike in emergency room visits since they became popular several years ago. Last fall, the Drug Enforcement Administration banned three chemicals used in bath salts, and 38 states have enacted their own bans, but incidents continue.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: In July 2011, Carey Shane Padgett of Roanoke County, Virginia allegedly beats his friend Cara Marie Holley to death. He later claims that he had ingested the both bath salts and synthetic marijuana, or spice.
Obtained by ABC News
July 2010

Carey Shane Padgett of Roanoke County, Virginia allegedly beats his friend Cara Marie Holley to death. He later claims that he had ingested the both bath salts and synthetic marijuana, or spice.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: Dickie Sanders, pictured here on left with his father Rick and sister Jaymi, took his own life in November 2010 days after ingesting bath salts.
Courtesy of the Sanders Family
November 2010

Dickie Sanders, pictured here on left with his father Rick and sister Jaymi, take his own life days after ingesting bath salts. According to his mother, Sanders first sliced his own throat and said, "I can't handle what this drug has done to me. I'm never going to touch anything again." Hours later he shot himself. "He took his life because he was scared out of his mind," his father told ABC News.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: Florida man died after ingesting bath salts, April 2011.
Getty Images
April 2011

The medical examiner's office of Hillsborough County, Florida determines that Jairious McGhee died after ingesting "bath salts." Days earlier, Gov. Rick Scott had signed a state law banning bath salts, which had been sold legally in stores and on the internet.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: 'Bath salts,' which have nothing in common with the products long used in bathing, are legally sold in more than 30 states.
ABC News
April 2011

Investigators determine that Army Sgt. David Stewart was under the influence of bath salts when he killed himself, his wife Kristy and their five-year-old son in Spanaway, Washington. Granules of bath salts were found in his car and his home, and a 500-milligram jar of salts was found in his pocket, according to the coroner.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: Mark Thompson, 19, of Alum Creek, is charged with animal cruelty.
Obtained by ABC News
May 2011

Mark Thompson of Alum Creek, West Virginia is arrested after allegedly killing his neighbor's goat while under the influence of bath salts. According to the criminal complaint, Thompson was found semi-dressed in women's clothing in his bedroom with blood everywhere. The goat was dead on the floor next to a pornographic photo. Thompson told police he'd been taking bath salts for three days.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: The 26-year-old who authorities say is the "bath salt" ring's supplier, Miguel Ashby, was arrested in Washington state, and charged with distribution of controlled substances.
Obtained by ABC News
June 2011

Ten members of an alleged bath salts ring are arrested by the DEA. Officials allege members of the ring, led by Miguel Ashby (above), shipped the bath salts from Seattle to a handful of New York City shops.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: Patrick Powell, 31, is charged with two counts of attempted murder, and the use of a firearm while under the influence.
Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office
September 2011

Patrick Powell, 31, of Spartanburg, S.C., is charged with two counts of attempted murder, and the use of a firearm while under the influence. He was allegedly found shooting out of the windows of a house while claiming that there was a body inside. There was no body inside. He allegedly told police he had ingested bath salts, alcohol and valium.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: A Florida man bit a cop car as police struggled to restrain him after he repeatedly yelled at the officers to shoot him, according to a police report.
Santa Rosa County Sheriffs Office
February 2012

A Florida man believed to be under the influence of bath salts allegedly bit the hood of a police cruiser when police attempted to restrain him. Eric Scott, 47, of Milton, Fla, had been knocking on neighbors' doors and asking them to call 911, saying he needed medical assistance. When police were summoned, he allegedly threw a flashlight at them and begged them to shoot him. Police allege that as they waited for emergency responders to arrive, Scott, then detained in handcuffs, began to scrape his teeth across the hood of their patrol car, digging through the paint down to the metal. Scott was transported to a local hospital, where he continued to ask police and hospital workers to kill him. "We unfortunately have to deal with [suspects on bath salts] pretty frequently and all of his actions were consistent with someone who was on that," a Santa Rosa sheriff's department spokesman told ABC News. A woman at Scott's residence denied to ABC News that Scott was using bath salts at the time of the incident.

Bath Salts Incidents

May 2012

In one week, Columbus, Ohio police shot two different men who were allegedly high on bath salts. A SWAT officer shot and killed Kevin Boozer on Tuesday, May 22 after he held a knife to his girlfriend's neck. Relatives claimed bath salts had made Boozer violent. Several days prior, another suspect believed to be under the influence of bath salts allegedly fired at police when they interrupted him while he was breaking into his own house. Police fired back wounding him.

Bath Salts Incidents

PHOTO: In this image taken from video, Miami police officers stand watch near Rudy Eugene, second from right, who was shot dead by a police officer when he refused to stop chewing on the face of Ronald Poppo, partially obscured by a railing, in Miami, May
The Miami Herald/AP Photo
May 2012

Randy Eugene, a 31-year-old homeless man, was shot dead by Miami police on Saturday, May 26 while eating the flesh of another homeless man, Ronald Poppo. Police said that Eugene had attacked Poppo in broad daylight on a busy highway, and growled at them when they ordered him to stop. Before Eugene was shot to death he had consumed 75 percent of the flesh on Poppo's face. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, told ABC News that Eugene's behavior was consistent with other incidents involving bath salts in Miami. "People taking off their clothes. People suddenly have super-human strength," said Aguilar. "They become violent and they are burning up on the inside." Aguilar referred to an earlier incident involving bath salts in which a suspect who had torn off his clothes was hit by a taxi and then beat the occupants of the vehicle. "It took 15 officers to stop him, and as he was being tasered, he was begging them to shoot and kill him."

Poppo, the victim of Eugene's cannibalistic attack, is expected to survive.

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