CORAL GABLES (LALATE) – The man eating face victim in Miami remains critical Wednesday after Saturday’s cannibal attack. After a man ate the face of Ronald Poppo on Miami’s MacArthur Causeway Saturday, Poppo was transported to a local area hospital. Officials tell news that Poppo, a homeless man, is still alive but in critical condition. Today officers tell, news, however more of the details of Poppo’s condition after a zombie like cannibal began eating his face in Miami last Saturday.
“Face-eating” man Rudy Eugene consumed the entire face of Ronald Poppo, with the exception of his chin, Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police. Aguilar tells news that Poppo, a homeless man, is still alive, but in critical condition. Local news, however, claims that Poppo’s chance of survival remains slim.
In a news briefing yesterday, Aguilar said that Eugene, dubbed the Miami Cannibal or Causeway Cannibal, did far more damage to Poppo than originally briefed to news. In a statement to CBS, Aguilar said Poppo “had his face eaten down to his goatee [by Eugene]. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth [remains].”
Larry Vega was one of the first people on scene to witness the crime unfold during Saturday’s traffic. Vega was like most Miami residents trying to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend. But suddenly, that afternoon, he saw Eugene, unclothed, chasing Poppo. Once Eugene, a former high school football player, caught Poppo, he began to eat Poppo’s face.
Vega told news that Eugene “was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’” Vega told WSVN that he proceeded to shout at Eugene. But after Eugene heard the shouting, he turned to Vega, with an open mouth and growled. He then “just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.”
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, tells news that it was difficult to stop the cannibal zombie-like attack, even with bullets. After officers responded, they instructed Eugene to stop attacking Poppo. Eugene reportedly growled again at officers. Officers tell news that they fired one non-fatal bullet at Eugene. But that didn’t stop him. He reportedly continued to chew away at Poppo. Officers eventually fired fatal rounds to stop the attack.
Officers tell news that the eating at Poppo continued for eighteen minutes, in broad day light, in front of both cars and cyclists, many of which never stopped to help Poppo. The Florida Department of Transportation tells the Boston Herald they got only five calls to 911 dispatches during the attack.
Moreover, video footage obtained of the attack reveals that some locals didn’t even stop to aid the man, even when feet away from him. Miami police Officer Jose Rivera tells news that surveillance footage reveals at least three bicyclists riding pass the two men and never stopping.
Officials at Jackson Memorial Hospital would not confirm their efforts to save Poppo’s life. But at 65 years old, Poppo has been homeless for more than three decades.
The surveillance footage also reveals that Eugene was unclothed far before he encountered Poppo. The video shows Eugene first walking unclothed on the Biscayne Boulevard off-ramp. He reportedly approached one individual for two minutes.
After approaching this other person for two minutes on the off-ramp, Eugene is recorded then grabbing a fully clothed Poppo. Eugene reportedly rips Poppo’s clothes completely off, while holding the homeless man down against his will.
An initial 911 call was made as to civil disturbance. At this point, Vega was now close to the attack. Eugene according to Vega “just stood, his head up like that, with pieces of flesh in his mouth. And he growled.”
Poppo is being treated today at Ryder Trauma Center inside Jackson Memorial. WTSP is reporting that Poppo’s injures are “so profound his chances for recovery seem small.” Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, told CBS that its once of the worse “scenes I’ve ever been to.” Ortiz had no details if Poppo has immediate family members.