Ronald Poppo, victim of Miami cannibal attacker Rudy Eugene, spoke out for the first time about the vicious assault that happened on the MacArthur Causeway two months ago. Though he was able to recount the grisly details that left him scarred, the motive of the "Miami Zombie" remains a mystery.
Ronald Poppo was interviewed by Miami homicide detectives Sgt. Altarr Williams and Frankie Sanchez July 19 after his surgeries at Jackson Memorial Hospital and subsequent stay at Perdue Medical Center. After the months of recovery— Poppo is still blind, and has a huge wound in his face where his eyes and forehead used to be— he still does not understand why he was attacked.
"He attacked me," Poppo said bluntly. "He just ripped me to ribbons. He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically that's all there is to say about it."
Apparently, Eugene had hitchhiked to the beach, and coming back, spoke to Poppo for a short while.
"For a very short amount of time I thought he was a good guy," Poppo continued. "But he just went and turned berserk. He apparently didn't have a good day at the Beach and he – he was coming back. And I guess he took it out, took it out on me or something. I don't know."
Poppo also revealed Eugene's "funny talk" in the period before he attempted to eat him— he surmised that the deranged man "must have been souped up on something."
"He just started to scream. And was talking kind of funny talk for a while too," said the survivor.
"What do you mean by funny talk?" Williams asked.
"That I was gonna die. And he was gonna die," Poppo replied.
The homeless man maintained that he had done nothing to provoke or provide reason for Eugene to beat him, although he did remember that only "brute force" was used.
"What can provoke an attack of that type?" Poppo asked the detectives. "I certainly didn't curse at the guy or say anything mean or nasty to him."
"He mashed my face into the sidewalk," the man continued, relatively resigned. "My face is all bend and mashed up. My eyes, my eyes got plucked out. He was strangling me in wrestling holds t the same time he was plucking my eyes out."
There was one detail that Poppo felt his attacked shared that could have been some semblance of a motive, however disturbing it may sound.
"He didn't like the Beach," Poppo revealed. "He said he wasn't scoring there. He went to the Beach to score or something."
After a short interview, the victim claimed he was exhausted, and thanked the Miami Police Department for saving his life.
"If [police] didn't get there in a nick of time, I would've definitely be in worse shape. Possibly I'll be DOA," he said.