Last month after Rudy Eugene attacked a homeless man named Ronald Poppo and literally ate 75 percent of his face off, people screamed zombie attack, while police, more rationally, reasoned that it was likely fueled by the drug known as bath salts. It turns out that both were wrong.
The results of an autopsy on Eugene, who was shot to death by police during the attack, were released late today and showed NO trace of bath salts. In fact, the only drug found in his system at all was plain, old-fashioned marijuana. The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner Department released a statement that concluded:
(his body didn't contain) any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs. The department has also sought the assistance of an outside forensic toxicology reference laboratory, which has confirmed the absence of 'bath salts,' synthetic marijuana and LSD.
Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.
Shocking, right? It certainly doesn't mean that anyone owes bath salts a mea culpa, nor should it justify anyone's use of the drug. There are plenty of other cases of the drug causing people to do insane things, including one earlier this week in which 20-year-old bludgeoned his elderly neighbor. The drug has been shown to trigger insanely aggressive behavior, and its use is clearly rampant as the reports of incidents involving bath salts continue to mount. So it certainly doesn't mean the drug is off the hook, but the fact that Eugene wasn't on it at the time of this highly publicized attack certainly raises plenty of questions.
It doesn't make the attack any less horrific, but in some ways it does make it more frightening. It makes you wonder all the more how it could have happened, and just how mentally ill Eugene had to be. Bath salts were perhaps a more easily explainable answer than a person just snapping to such an unthinkable extreme.
Are you surprised to find out 'bath salts' weren't involved in the case of the zombie-like attack last month in Miami? Does it make you feel any differently about the attack?
Image via Miami-Dade Police