A man shot Saturday after eating off the face of his victim, could have been suffering from "cocaine psychosis" a new report has revealed.
Miami police shot 31-year-old Rudy Eugene a number of times after he continued to maul his victim's face. Police suspect that Eugene may have been suffering from "cocaine psychosis," according to the Huffington Post, which stated that few other details had been released.
"The guy - he was like a zombie, blood dripping; it was intense," Larry Vega, a biker was riding nearby and witnessed the incident, told reporters. "I never thought I would see someone eating someone. It was really, really horrific."
Cocaine psychosis can cause "violent, erratic and paranoid behavior among heavy cocaine users," according to the Chicago Tribune. The disorder, which at times can mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia, became a growing issue in large cities as early as the late 1980s.
"Cocaine Psychosis Taking Its Toll" was written by Peter Kerr for the New York Times in 1987 and attempted to explain the early signs of a growing disorder.
"Dopamine levels suddenly rise when cocaine enters the body, resulting in a profound sense of euphoria, and drop again as the drug wears off," Kerr explained. "Psychotic symptoms can develop after dopamine levels rise repeatedly. And even in cases where full-fledged psychosis does not develop, users tend to be highly agitated and prone to violence."
Kerr also said that psychosis was most likely to occur in users who had been abusing cocaine for a long period of time. Although the Miami Herald reported last year that cocaine use in the city was down due to economic hardship, cocaine use has long been prevalent in the area.
Eugene's victim, believed to be a homeless man, was in the hospital recovering on Monday in critical condition,witnesses said the man's face was left barely recognizable.
Eugene was "growling like an animal as he swallowed pieces of flesh," before officers fired the initial shot, according to the New York Daily News. Following the initial shot, the suspect continued "chomping on the man's ears, nose and cheeks -- and even tried to gouge out his eyeballs," before cops fired several more shots. Eugene was killed at the scene.
More recent medical reports have revealed a definitive link between cocaine psychotic disorders, which include cocaine-induced psychotic disorder with delusions and cocaine-induced psychotic disorder with hallucinations.