Has our world gone stark bonkers mad?
Now we are told that Miami police shot dead a naked man who was eating the face of another.
Daniel Guzman and Julie K. Brown report for the Miami Herald, that at about 2 p.m. last Saturday, May 26, 2012, a series of gunshots were heard on the MacArthur Causeway off ramp, along NE 13th Street just south of The Miami Herald building.
According to police sources, a road ranger saw a naked man chewing on another man’s face and shouted on his loud speaker for him to back away. Meanwhile, a woman also saw the incident and flagged down a police officer who was in the area.
The officer, who has not been identified, approached and, seeing what was happening, also ordered the naked man to back away. When the cannibal continued the assault, the officer shot him. But the cannibal continued, forcing the officer to continue firing. Witnesses said they heard at least a half dozen shots.
The naked man was shot to death by Miami police.
The victim was transported to the hospital with critical injuries and is fighting for his life, his face allegedly half eaten
The incident, which came as crowds descended upon South Beach for the annual Urban Beach Week hip-hop festival, snarled traffic on the causeway for several hours. In a text message, Javier Ortiz, spokesman for Miami police’s Fraternal Order of Police, said the officer who fired the fatal shots is “a hero” who “saved a life.’’
Sergeant Altarr Williams, supervisor of Miami police’s Homicide Unit, said a man doesn’t have to be armed to be dangerous: “There are other ways to injure people. Some people know martial arts, others are very strong and can kill you with their hands.’’
Investigators believe the victim may have been homeless and laying down when the crazed man pounced. Police theorize the attacker might have been suffering from “cocaine psychosis,” a drug-induced craze that bakes the body internally and often leads the affected to strip naked to try and cool off.
The identities of attacker and victim were not released.
Michael Sheridan of the New York Daily News reports that Larry Vega, a Miami resident who first witnessed the nightmarish scene and alerted Miami police, told Local 10 News that the attacker was “tearing up pieces of his flesh, you know, his ears, his nose. He was tearing it up and throwing it away… it was really a horrific scene. It’s going to take some time to forget. I never thought I would see someone eating someone else. It was really, really horrific.”
Vega told WSVN 13 News that the cop ordered the man to stop, but he did not listen. The cop then drew his gun, but “the guy just stood… with pieces of flesh in his mouth and he growled.” The eye witness also said both attacker and victim were naked:
According to Wikipedia, cocaine is among several “stimulant drugs” that can induce psychosis, the other psychosis-inducing stimulants being amphetamine, methylphenidate (better known by its trade name Ritalin), and caffeine (in high doses and chronically abused).
More than half of cocaine abusers report some psychotic symptoms at some point. Typical symptoms of sufferers include paranoid delusions that they are being followed and that their drug use is being watched, often with accompanying hallucinations, which supports the delusional beliefs. Delusional parasitosis with formication (“cocaine bugs” — the delusion that one’s body is infected with bugs) is also a fairly common reaction. Cocaine-induced psychosis tends to become more severe with repeated, intermittent use
The symptoms of stimulant psychosis vary slightly between different stimulant drugs, but include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, and, in extreme cases, catatonia. Additional symptoms may include aggression, arrhythmia, dilated pupils, diarrhea, hypertension, hyperthermia, nausea, rapid breathing, restlessness, seizures, sleep deprivation, tremor, and vomiting.
Note that cannibalism is not among the symptoms listed above!
Update (May 29):
CBS Miami reports that the suspected cannibal has been identified by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s officer as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene.
The president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Armando Aguilar believes the entire incident is the fault of a new drug trend that has led to similar incidents. Emergency room doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said they too have seen a major increase in cases linked to the street drug called “bath salts” or the new LSD.
Emergency room Dr. Paul Adams at Jackson Memorial Hospital said in many of the cases, the person’s temperature has risen to an extremely high level, they’ve become very aggressive. Some have used their jaws as a weapon during attacks. The patients were in a state of delirium and “Extremely strong, I took care of a 150 pound individual who you would have thought he was 250 pounds. It took six security officers to restrain the individual.”
Adams said the extreme strength and violence of patients on “bath salts” has become a significant threat to all those charged with the task of trying to help those high on the drug: “It’s dangerous for the police. It’s dangerous for the fire fighters. It’s dangers for the hospital workers taking care of them because they come in, they have to be restrained both chemically and physically and you’re asking for someone to get hurt. I have a message for whoever is selling it out there. You can be arrested for murder if you are selling this LSD to people, unsuspecting people on the street and somebody ends up dying as a result you will be charged with murder.”
Update (May 30):
The victim is a 65-year-old homeless man, Ronald Poppo, who remains hospitalized. “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.