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Video: Miami Cop Who Stopped Cannibal Attack 'Doing All Right'

May 29, 2012  | 

VIDEO: Miami Cannibal Attack

The Miami Police Department officer who fatally shot a naked man who was chewing off another naked man's face on Saturday has handled the traumatic episode well so far, according to the agency's patrol union.

The officer, who has not been named, is a younger officer on the force, according to Sgt. William Scarola.

"I hear the officer is doing all right," Sgt. Scarola tells POLICE Magazine. "It's very horrific responding to this. I'm sure it's going to have some type of impact on him."

The men and women who enter law enforcement typically understand they will be exposed to traumatic events. However, witnessing cannibalism is far from the norm, even in police work, Susan Saxe-Clifford, a former LAPD psychologist, told POLICE Magazine.

"This particular situation is above and beyond what every peace officer has to deal with," Saxe-Clifford said. "This is very strange and very traumatic."

Any Miami PD officer involved in a shooting death is given three days off and offered the services of a psychologist. The officer must visit the psychologist before returning to duty and typically speaks with investigators only after other witnesses are contacted. This approach provides the officer a cooling-off period.

Dave Reiss, a San Diego psychologist who evaluates officers for stress claims and fitness for duty, said younger officers are more vulnerable to traumatic incidents.

"Generally the younger officers are more vulnerable because they haven't been harmed and don't have the adaptive responses," Reiss told POLICE Magazine. "And they're not as willing to admit they're affected. They want to play Superman."

This officer was patrolling the MacArthur Causeway on Saturday, when a man on a bicycle flagged him down to report a disturbance. The officer approached an area near the Miami Herald building, and noticed a naked man chewing on the face of another naked man.

The attacker has been identified as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene. The victim, 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, is clinging to life at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

When he first encountered Eugene, the officer ordered him to stop. Eugene instead lifted his head, growled at the officer, and went back to chewing Poppo's face. The officer fired four shots that struck Eugene, who died at the scene.

An internal investigation will determine whether the officer's use of deadly force was justified. Miami Police officers can use deadly force if a victim's life is threatened, Sgt. Scarola said.

"There was immediate physical harm to the victim and [possible] death," Sgt. Scarola said. "The first round hit the offender, and it didn't faze him."

While the motive for the attack is still under investigation, medical and police sources said they have seen an increase in usage of the street drug "bath salts." Dr. Paul Adams, an emergency room doctor at Jackson Memorial, told CBS News they have seen a major increase in cases linked to the street drug that's referred to as "the new LSD."

In these cases, suspects are known to tear off their clothing as their body temperatures rise, develop super-human strength, and growl at others. In late March, 13 officers were needed to subdue a suspect at the Ultra Fest Miami music festival.

By Paul Clinton

Related:

Miami Cop Shoots, Kills Naked Cannibal

Miami Cannibal Attack (video)

Tags: Miami PD, Odd Crimes, Miami Cannibal Attack


Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

Anon @ 5/29/2012 6:13 PM

Zombies?

TripWire @ 5/29/2012 6:39 PM

This is how it starts..... one guy chewing on another guys face, before you know it we get "walkers" all over the place.

Robocop @ 5/29/2012 6:44 PM

This was a horrific incident just to witness, much less become involved in to the extent that he had to take another mans life. No doubt this will be something this Officer will always remember and he will have nightmares over. I'm a tough old retied cop and I have seen many things, some of which I will sometimes recall so vividly that they could have happened hours ago. Even to us old veterans something like this is tough to witness. God Bless and keep this Officer.

Swag @ 5/29/2012 7:01 PM

Zombie Apocalypse! We knew it was coming.

Bob@Az. @ 5/29/2012 9:27 PM

So glad this Officer is unharmed and hopefully will return to the Job. I hope he will be aware of the danger to others that he stopped and will understand that he made the right decision. Stay safe and vigilent.

Bob @ 5/30/2012 4:26 AM

Eugene could be patient zero. Time to store up Twinkies. Zombieland coming to a city near you...

Praying that the officer will be able to move past this with minimal issues.

Armando @ 5/30/2012 4:44 AM

That's why naked men should be kept apart, but I am not asking?

MGC @ 5/30/2012 5:36 AM

You did what you were trained to do, kudos to you officer.

Hank @ 5/30/2012 6:17 AM

On a serious note, what was the distance involved and why did he not use his Taser before going to his sidearm?

Sgt. Rick (Retired) @ 5/30/2012 6:38 AM

Are the "Revends" cumming to Miami to lead a Justice for Poppo March and Rally the way we saw all the Trayvon activity? White Senior Citizen "eaten alive" by a crazed black man; there has to be some racial angle for the "Revends" Jackson and Sharpton to exploit; perhaps young black men are so abused that they have to hunt for meat on the street is an appropriate angle. The Old White Guy asked for it by being on the street. Now bring out the wrongful death lawsuit against the cop.

Juan 10-13 @ 5/30/2012 7:08 AM

Peace be with you my brother,you saved many lives when you took one that needed to be erased! Thank you for all the lives you saved and protecting who we are swarned to!

S.S. @ 5/30/2012 10:03 AM

Check out the movie 28 days later. It was only a matter of time. This is some crazy sh**!!!

Bob@Az. @ 5/30/2012 11:02 AM

Hank: Tasers don't always work. Especially on someone who's "wired", as we used to say. Read a little more on the effects of this new LSD and you'll find that it makes the user hyper strong. The Officer used lethal force because the victim was being eaten alive. Don't believe everything you see on TV as it is often "tweeked" for the veiwers. It took four rounds to stop this pos.

ba @ 5/30/2012 3:29 PM

Hopefully the police will release number, location and caliber of shots - this possible ammo failure is scary stuff. Also hopefully they will publish individual drug levels and any underlying diseases found, scary, scary to not know.

steve @ 5/30/2012 3:49 PM

and you people want to do away with stand your ground laws . good luck with that

steve @ 5/30/2012 3:58 PM

amen sgt rick if obama had a son would he eat my face

josh stevens @ 6/1/2012 10:34 AM

whats wrong with society that people have to take substances like this..whats wrong with just smoking marijuana..why do we need more than that..this guy was nuts and im happy the officer gunned him down

josh stevens @ 6/1/2012 10:38 AM

why cant we just be happy with marijuana instead of killing ourselves with these nasty substances..dude was crazy and im very happy the cop shot him..disgusting

slobull @ 6/27/2012 5:54 PM

I just read that no bath salt chemicals were found in the suspects body. I hope they did sections on his brain, and still have blood samples in the lab.
I'd order a redo.

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