'Miami Zombie' Victim Speaks Out For First Time Since Face-Eating Incident
Ronald Poppo, the man who was rendered severely disfigured following an encounter with Rudy Eugene, known in the media as the "Miami Zombie" or the "Causeway Cannibal," spoke with Miami homicide detectives last month about his harrowing ordeal.
"He attacked me," Poppo told Det. Sgt. Altarr Williams and Det. Frankie Sanchez on July 19th. "He just ripped me to ribbons. He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically that's all there is to say about it."
In audio obtained by CBS Miami, the 65-year-old transient can be heard detailing the events leading up to the gruesome attack that left him blind.
Poppo said Eugene was upset about not "scoring" during his visit to Miami Beach. Eugene initially seemed like "a good guy," but suddenly "turned berserk" and told Poppo "I'm gonna kill you." Asked if Eugene told him why, Poppo told the detectives, "no, he just stated to scream" and "talk funny."
Though Poppo posits that Eugene "must have been souped up on something," toxicology tests were unable to detect anything besides marijuana in his system.
Contrary to media reports, Poppo said he never met Eugene before that fateful day. But CBS Miami notes that Poppo was hazy about the scene underneath the causeway, telling detectives Eugene was dressed, when in fact he was naked.
Poppo still has a long road of rehabilitation ahead of him, but, in the interview, he was mostly thankful for being alive. "I thank the Miami Police Department for saving my life," he said just before wrapping up.