Despite surveillance video, eyewitness statements, and a victim clinging for life with more than 75 percent of his face chewed off, the family and girlfriend of Rudy Eugene are telling the world there is no way he could attack someone so viciously.
“I knew my son,” Eugene’s mother, Ruth Charles, told ABC affiliate WPLG. “Rudy will never, never do something like that. Somebody killed him, and they just go and dump him.”
Police believe the meeting of Eugene and 65-year-old Ronald Poppo was a chance encounter that occurred after Eugene dumped his car in South Beach and walked 3½ miles across a causeway, stripping off his clothes in broad daylight before attacking Poppo.
Some law enforcement officials believe the dangerous new street drug “bath salts” may have played a role in the attack. It could take weeks for toxicology results to come back, however, and there were no drugs found at the scene.
Eugene’s mother, who once had a violent incident with her son that resulted in him becoming the first person tasered by North Miami police, believes he was drugged and dumped in the area where he encountered Poppo and felt threatened by him.