"Face-Eating" Man Wasn't on Bath Salts After All

By Valerie Tejeda 06/28/12

The nationwide outcry got it wrong—the attacker had used marijuana, and nothing else.

Turns out he was merely stoned.
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After weeks of speculation that the Miami “face-eater” was high on bath salts—and an accompanying hysterical outcry—lab tests have found only marijuana in his system. Back in May, Rudy Eugene was shot and killed by Florida law enforcement, after violently attacking and "eating" the face (although no human tissue was found in his stomach) of 65-year-old Ronald Poppo. Many hypothesized that Eugene was under the influence of bath salts or LSD. Toxicology reports released yesterday found only traces of marijuana in the 31-year-old’s system and there was no evidence of other illicit substances. “The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs,” reported the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner. “This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Ecstasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds.” Investigators are now scratching their heads for an explanation. Following the attack, Poppo was left blind, and missing both his nose and one eye. Doctors from Jackson Memorial Hospital say he's been upbeat despite his traumatic experience. “It’s one of the most devastating cases we have seen,” says his plastic surgeon, Dr. Wroodcq Kassira. “It is going to take many, many facial reconstruction surgeries but we are hoping for the best.”

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.