Worst Acid Trip in History Blamed in Miami Face-Chewing Attack

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The Miami Zombie has a name: Police told local press that the naked man they shot to death when he wouldn't stop eating another guy's face is 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, and that he was in the depths of the world's worst acid trip when it happened.

The local CBS affiliate has word that cops are blaming a new batch of LSD (updated below: Maybe it was bath salts?) for the zombie-like state in which they found Eugene, naked, chewing on his victim's face. There's not much information available about Eugene yet, except for that he was divorced and his ex-wife said "he always felt like people [were] against him," The Miami Herald's Diana Moscovitz and David Ovalle reported. The Associated Press has the terrifying and surreal witness account to police:

“The guy was, like, tearing him to pieces with his mouth, so I told him, ‘Get off!’ ’ Mr. Vega said. ”The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like, ripping his skin.” Mr. Vega flagged down a Miami police officer, who he said repeatedly ordered the attacker to get off the victim. The attacker picked his head up and growled at the officer, who then shot the attacker more than once, Mr. Vega said.

Eugene's victim, who hasn't been identified, is in the hospital in "extremely critical condition," the Herald reported. "Much of his face was gone, the skin ripped away, the nose bitten and the eyes gouged. What remained was his goatee and little else." 

The zombie-like behavior has, naturally, inspired a Twitter account for the Miami Zombie. As Miami New Times' Francisco Alvarado notes, it's also given rise to a new discussion of so-called excited delirium, which is a phenomenon police have associated with people so out of control on drugs (usually cocaine, but in this case LSD) they're impervious to pain. NPR had a report in 2007 about the controversial diagnosis, which isn't a universally recognized medical condition, and which civil liberties groups say police use to cover up excessive force. So far, we haven't seen many complaints of excessive force in this particular case.

Update (2:10 p.m. EDT): Eugene may have been on bath salts, "a drug referred to as the new LSD," instead of actual LSD, CNN reports.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.