'Miami Zombie Attack' One of Many Violent Cases Involving Bath Salts

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By Katherine Weber , Christian Post Reporter
May 30, 2012|3:23 pm

Saturday's attack in Miami involving one homeless man eating another homeless man's face may turn out to be one of many crimes that have been a result of the illegal use of bath salts.

Bath salts are traditionally meant to be used in baths for therapeutic purposes, but they contain a harmful chemical that, when ingested, can cause feelings of euphoria and energy similar to that of cocaine.

Bath salts contain the synthetic stimulants mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and can be snorted, injected, or swallowed.

On Saturday, May 26, Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man, was attacked allegedly by 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, also homeless, in Miami, Fla.

The attack has been dubbed the "naked zombie attack" and "zombie apocalypse" because Eugene reportedly pounced on Poppo while naked and began eating his face, to the shock of several passerby and vehicles.

Eugene reportedly continued to eat Poppo's face until police arrived 18 minutes later. All that was left of Poppo's face was his beard and mustache, reports indicate.

Eugene is suspected to have been taking a new drug called "bath salts," and although it was not immediately clear if the properties of the drug are linked to the household item of the same name, there have been violent case involving the drug.

In May 2011, police accused 19-year-old Mark Thompson, of Charleston, W. Va., of killing his neighbor's pygmy goat, allegedly while high on bath salts.

Police found Thompson in his bedroom, wearing a bra and panties, with the dead goat at his feet and a pornographic magazine laying a few feet from the goat, police told The Charleston Gazette.

Thompson allegedly told police that he had been high on bath salts for three days straight.

Florida has also struggled controlling the selling and consumption of bath salts. The Dayton Daily News reported in Dec. 2011 that there had been 16 recent deaths, all related to bath salts.

One 29-year-old male snorted bath salts and then hung himself, while another 39-year-old male was found dead in his home, surrounded by broken lamps and overturned furniture, the newspaper reported.

Calls to ban bath salts have increased significantly since Saturday's "naked zombie attack."

As previously reported by The Christian Post, the U.S. Senate recently voted 96-1 to ban the harmful chemicals found in bath salts.

"A common effect of these synthetic products is that they cause psychotic episodes -- anxiety, paranoia, they're all documented effects," Paul Melton, investigator for Florida's Pinellas County Justice Coordination told US News.

"Does it cause someone to eat someone's face, I can't say that ... But it certainly could cause anxiety and delusions that could lead to something like that," he added.

 

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