According to a statement released by the Miami-Dade medical examiner, the only drug found in the system of Miami face-eater Rudy Eugene was that of marijuana.
“The department’s toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana,” medical examiner Dr. Bruce Hyma said in a statement. “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.”
The lab used a second forensic toxicology test to confirm that the common ingredients of bath salts were not present in Eugene’s system.
“Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories,” the statement read, “marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”
Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a professor and Director of Toxicology at the University of Florida, said, “the problem today is that there is an almost an infinite number of chemical substances out there that can trigger unusual behavior.” Goldberger also mentioned that the medical examiner’s office in Miami has a reputation for performing thorough work and that he is confident the independent lab covered as much ground as it could.
“The challenge today for the toxicology lab is to stay on top of these new chemicals and develop methodologies for them, but it’s very difficult and very expensive.” Goldberger said. “There is no one test or combination of tests that can detect every possible substance out there.”
It was thought that Eugene, 31, was using some form of synthetic drugs or suffering from a drug-induced psychosis when he attacked a homeless man named Ronald Poppo on May 26 while he was naked. The attack occurred in the daylight along Miami’s MacArthur Causeway. Eugene ripped off and chewed half of the victim’s face. Eugene was shot and killed by a responding officer because Eugene refused to stop chewing on Poppo’s face. Eugene reportedly growled at the officer with the flesh of Poppo in his mouth.
The attack lasted all of 18 minutes and the moments after it were recorded on surveillance video from the parking garage of the Miami Herald. The police still do not know why Eugene attacked Poppo though. According to one report, Eugene was diagnosed as a schizophrenic at one time but police do not know if he ever received treatment for the illness. Since the age of 16, Eugene has been arrested 16 times, including four arrests revolving around marijuana. Eugene was once arrested for threatening to kill his mother but family and friends say that they never thought he could commit such a violent act.
“There’s no answer for it, not really,” Eugene’s brother, Marckenson Charles, said. “Anybody who knew him knows this wasn’t the person we knew him to be. Whatever triggered him, there is no answer for this.”
Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center said that Poppo is doing well despite losing one eye, missing his nose and needing multiple surgeries to 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.