As humans we’re jaded and cynical, bombarded with horribly dark news stories on an almost daily basis, and yet occasionally a story breaks that so horrific that we’re just gobsmacked at the inhuman depths we as a species can sometimes can sink to.
I speak not of those sadists at MTV approving Jersey Shore for another torturous season, but of the report from Miami that at the weekend a man had been shot dead by police who were responding to reports that people had seen one man attacking another man under the MacArthur Causeway. Police arrived at the scene to discover that naked 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, son of Haitian immigrants, had been eating the face of semi-naked 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, a homeless man who was a regular ‘resident’ under the bridge where the attack occurred.
Initially a police officer ordered Rudy to stop the attack, but he simply raised his bloody head from his victim and growled at the officer before resuming his attack. The officer felt compelled to shoot Rudy once in order to force him to desist, but the wound had no effect and the attack continued, forcing the officer to shoot multiple times until the attacker was dead.
In fact poor Ronald, who endured almost 20-minutes of the attack before police arrived, had been mutilated beyond recognition and lost at least 75-80% of his face with only his goatee left intact, forcing emergency services to rush him to the Jackson Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center where he remains in a critical condition.
Police investigators have since revealed that it appears Rudy Eugene had in all probability overdosed on a variant of LSD with the street name of Bath Salts. The powdery substance causes delusional feelings of invincibility and results in the user being temporarily filled with incredible strength, however it also raises the internal body temperature, making the user feel as if they’re burning up – which could explain Rudy’s naked state. In addition to extreme physical strength, the drug can trigger aggression, extreme paranoia, hallucinations and confusion in its users, resulting in a highly charged individual filled with both animalistic rage and the strength to do something about it.
The inevitably sensationalised news stories started to occur, with words like Cannibal in Miami, Zombie Attack and Voodoo Ritual being used all too frequently, and one of my friends went so far as to joke that due to the obvious start of the Zombie Apocalypse he would be staying barricaded at home with a supply of canned goods until the world was safe again.
Cristy Carrington Lewis has addressed the subject in her blog Paltry Meanderings of a Taller Than Average Woman, tackling the subject with her much loved dark humour and an absolutely wonderful post entitled Bath Salts Made Me Eat Your Face that’s well worth a read, where she mourns that the days “…when bath salts were merely part of one of those crappy, bath product gift baskets you bought your great Aunt Edna for Christmas…well, those days are gone, folks.“
I don’t really have any more to say on the subject as I think this news story has shocked and disgusted a lot of people, and made many aware of how desperate people can become when they’re looking for a doorway through which to temporarily escape their life for a few hours, but how the price is inevitably higher than the few dollars they paid for their cheap illegal fix.