Cannibal zombie bath salt hysteria has returned to south Florida. Wednesday night, 26-year-old Charles Baker visited his girlfriend’s home in Palmetto to see his kids. High on an unknown substance, Baker knocked on the door before barging in. Once inside the house, he began yelling and stripping off his clothes.
When Baker began to throw furniture around the room, 48-year-old Jeffery Blake, who lives in the home, attempted to restrain Baker. In the struggle, Baker bit off a chunk of flesh from Blake’s bicep. Blake was able to fight Baker to the ground and hold him there until two deputies from the Manatee Country Sherif’s office arrived.
Blake released Baker when the deputies entered the house, but Baker would not respond to the deputies’ commands. According to the police report, Baker stood naked, clenching his fists and screaming. The deputies, believing Baker was going to rush them, fired a Taser at him. He fell to the ground but started to get back up, so they Tased him again. Then he pulled the probes out of his skin and attempted to get up again, and received another Taser charge for his trouble. By this time, several other deputies had arrived on the scene and were able to subdue and handcuff Baker, who had by then been Tasered a total of four times.
Baker was taken to the Manatee Memorial Hospital for evaluation before heading to jail. The incident is similar to the horrific Miami face-eating attack in which a naked man ate most of the flesh off of a homeless man’s face before he was shot and killed by police and comes in the wake of several other cannibalistic attacks. Many of the previous attacks have been linked to the use of bath salts, a drug containing synthetic stimulants such as mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Though Baker was reportedly high on some substance, it is not yet clear whether he was under the influence of bath salts.