Face-eating man 'was funny and friendly'

2012-05-30 16:57
Cape Town – The man who was shot and killed by a Miami police officer who found him gnawing on the face of a homeless man has been described by friends as funny and friendly, with a particularly radiant smile, says a report in the Miami Herald.

"Rudy was not a face-eating zombie monster," his high school friend Victoria Forte told the newspaper. "The Rudy we know was a nice gentleman with a warm smile, and funny."

Rudy Eugene's victim has been named as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo who, records show, had been homeless for decades. According to the report, Poppo is still in critical condition after his nose, mouth and eyes were chewed off by Eugene.

The paper said surveillance footage seemed to show that Eugene, aged 31, who had been walking naked along the McArthur Causeway "stumbled upon Poppo by sheer happenstance" before pouncing on the homeless man who was dozing in the shade of elevated train tracks on Saturday afternoon.

The attack, during which Eugene punched Poppo and stripped off his pants, lasted for about 18 minutes.


The paper reported that Eugene was in Miami to party over Memorial Day weekend. Before the attack, he had been with his girlfriend who told police that he had been acting strangely before leaving in his car.

"He had his ups and downs, but he was not an aggressive person. He was really sweet and giving," Erica Smith, a close friend and former roommate of Eugene's told the paper.

Smith said Eugene was down on his luck with a string of arrests and a broken marriage, but recently was getting his life back together.

"He did smoke [marijuana], I'm not going to lie about that," Smith said. "Someone must have given him something really bad. A few days ago he told my brother that he was really depressed and didn't want to live anymore. He was a guy who just wanted a family and someone to love him."
A Miami police union official speculated that he must have been high on LSD or some other drug that causes psychosis as the body overheats.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    rudy eugene  |  ronald poppo  |  us

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

VIDEO: 5 scintillating RWC tries from the weekend
World Cup 'curse' talk annoys Cameron
Meyer taking no chances
Butch happy with ‘best possible’ Bok side
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.