This Homeless Man’s Face Was Eaten By A “Miami Zombie”, But His Path To Recovery Is An Incredible Story

Cannibalism is defined as “the act of one individual of a species consuming all or part of another individual of the same species as food.” Yes, unbelievable as it may, it’s true that there are genetic and archaeological evidences that cannibalism has been practiced by humans for thousands of years in many ancient cultures. There are also numerous cases of people eating people in modern times. One such case happened in Miami 3 years ago..the famous “Miami cannibal attack.”

On May 26, 2012 Rudy Eugene, a car wash employee, attacked and ate the face of a homeless man named Ronald Poppo in Miami, Florida.

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Dubbed as the “Miami Zombie” Eugene (left) accused Poppo (right) of stealing his Bible.

Before the incident, in the morning, Eugene drove his Chevrolet Caprice to Miami to attend Urban Beach Week.

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But his car broke down and after 40 minutes, he abandoned it to walk 3 miles in MacArthur Causeway, a route that connects Miami to South Beach.

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As he walked along the causeway, Eugene removed his clothes and threw away his driver’s license as he moved westward. The only item of clothing he kept on were his shoes. He was carrying his Bible.

Eugene, who was already naked threw away his Bible, he then saw Poppo lying under an elevated Metromover railway.

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Eugene suddenly attacked Poppo, he began to punch him, removed his pants and then bit the homeless man’s face.

Fortunately, a passing cyclist named Larry Vega witnessed the crime and called 911.

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Vega said: ‘The guy was like tearing him to pieces with his mouth and I told him to get off. But the guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin.A police officer came over, told him several times to get off then climbed over the divider and got in front of him and said, “Get off!” But the guy just stood his head up like that with a piece of flesh in his mouth and growled.”

The attack lasted 18 minutes until Officer Ramirez fatally shot Eugene once and then four times at 2:13 PM.

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Luckily, Poppo survived the attack. He was immediately rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

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It was first believed that addiction to “bath salts”, a street drug, was the cause of the attack. But toxicologists did not find any traces of the drug but found marijuana in his system.

Though Poppo outlived the terrifying ordeal, he lost both eyes and suffered critical injuries. 75–80% of his face above the beard was gone.


He underwent facial reconstruction surgeries that took months to complete and remained permanently disfigured and blind.

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But Poppo has refused additional reconstructive surgery. As of 2013, Poppo has gained 50 pounds and is recovering well.

“He’s a wonderful person. I couldn’t ask for a better patient.” said his nursing assistant, Patricia Copalko.

Poppo is thankful to his savior and to all the people who helped him.

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“He continues to work with an occupational therapist, who taught him how to dress himself, feed himself, shower and shave. He is living happily at the long-term care facility, and adjusting to his new life.” the hospital wrote on its Facebook page.

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“I think he wants the world to know that he’s not traumatized by this, that he’s happy and grateful,” said Dr. Urmen Desai, Poppo’s plastic surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Watch the uncensored footage of the attack:

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