Article By: JENNIFER KAY – Wednesday May 30 2012
It is being called one of this city’s goriest crimes: A naked man was on top of another nude man along a busy highway, biting into the man’s face, tearing it to pieces. A police officer arrived to help, but the mauler growled at him and continued to chew away, stopping only when he was shot to death.
The victim, identified as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, a homeless man who lived under the causeway, was in critical condition.
“He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth,” said Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. “In my opinion, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said it was one of the bloodiest “and goriest scenes I’ve ever been to.”
“It was not only grotesque, it was just very sad, the amount of blood. It was very sad to see what happened to this gentleman that had his face eaten,” Ortiz said.
It’s not clear what led Rudy Eugene, 31, to attack Poppo. Eugene’s ex-wife, Jenny Ductant, told WPLG-TV, said he was somewhat paranoid.
“I wouldn’t say he had mental problem but he always felt like people was against him … No one was for him, everyone was against him,” she told the station. She and Eugene’s mother declined comment when reached by The Associated Press.
“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’” Vega told Miami television station WSVN (http://bit.ly/L6kwWt). “The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”
The officer shot Eugene, but he just kept chewing, Vega said. The officer fired again, killing Eugene.