In a grisly attack that resembled something out of a horror movie, a naked man was discovered in downtown Miami on Saturday, May 26, in the process of chewing off the face of another man. The attacker, who had already devoured the victim’s eyes, nose and ears, growled at a police officer, who shot him several times after numerous orders to desist. The victim was left fighting for his life, with 75% of his face missing.
The bizarre incident unfolded around 2 p.m. on a sun-drenched pedestrian ramp next to a freeway. A passing cyclist who witnessed the brutal assault couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw two naked men lying on the ground, one gnawing on the face of the other.
“The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’ ” the cyclist, Larry Vega, told Miami’s WSVN 7 News. ”The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin.”
(READ MORE: A Day in the Life of Miami’s Face-Eating Zombie)
Vega quickly alerted a passing police officer, who attempted to stop the attack. ”[The] police officer came over, told him several times to get off, and a police officer climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, ‘Get off!’ and told him several times, and the guy just stood his head up like that, with a piece of flesh in his mouth, and growled,” recalled Vega.
When the man refused to back away, the officer shot him once. He continued biting, however, stopping only after several more shots were fired, eventually killing him, reports the Miami Herald.
The victim, an unidentified homeless man, was rushed to a hospital, with critical injuries. The skin on his face was ripped off, his eyes gouged and his nose mauled, leaving only his goatee.
Police suspect that the attacker, who has been identified as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, had overdosed on a new, potent form of LSD. An ER doctor, meanwhile, told NBC Miami that Eugene may have been high on “bath salts” — “a drug with amphetamine-like chemicals, nicknamed after the product it resembles.” Whatever the explanation, it’s extremely likely that drugs were involved somehow. “Whenever we see that a person has taken all of his clothes off and has become violent, it’s indicative of this excited delirium that’s caused by overdose of drugs,” says Armando Aguilar of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. “What’s happening is, inside their body, their organs are burning up alive.”
The Herald, whose offices are close to where the attack took place, released video footage of the grisly assault captured on their surveillance cameras.
“[It was] one of the most gruesome things I have ever seen in my life in person,” said Vega. ”You know, you see these things in the movies, but when you see it in person, it’s pretty traumatic.”