The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner found only marijuana in the body of the man who was fatally shot while chewing a homeless man's face over Memorial Day weekend. Psychiatrist Delvena Thomasspeaks to NBC 6.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner found only marijuana in the body of the man who was fatally shot while chewing a homeless man's face over Memorial Day weekend.
A statement from Medical Examiner Bruce Hyma on Wednesday said that 31-year-old Rudy Eugene's toxicology was complete.
"The department's toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana," the statement said. "The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs. This includes cocaine, LSD, amphetamines (Extasy, Meth and others), phencyclidine (PCP or Angel Dust), heroin, oxycodone, Xanax, synthetic marijuana (Spice), and many other similar compounds."
A telephone message left at the medical examiner's office for comment wasn't immediately returned.
The department also ruled out common drugs found in the street drugs called bath salts, which authorities had initially speculated were the cause of the brutal attack on Ronald Poppo.
He has been recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center since the May 26 attack along the MacArthur Causeway.
Poppo was rushed to the hospital after he was attacked by Eugene, who tore off and chewed much of the 65-year-old's face, authorities said. About 50 percent of his face, including his forehead and cheek, was affected and he has an infection, brain injury and a puncture wound to his chest.
Eugene was fatally shot by an officer after he refused to stop the savage attack on Poppo, police said. Witnesses said a naked Eugene was throwing his clothes into traffic and swinging from a light pole shortly before the attack.
"There's no answer for it, not really," Eugene's younger brother, Marckenson Charles, said in an interview. "Anybody who knew him knows this wasn't the person we knew him to be. Whatever triggered him, there is no answer for this."
The medical examiner's department also got assistance from an outside forensic toxicology lab, which confirmed that there were no bath salts, synthetic marijuana or LSD in Eugene's system.
"Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene," the statement said.
Psychiatrist Delvena Thomas pointed out that there are not tests for many synthetic drugs or bath salts.
“They're creating so many different synthetic-type drugs or synthetic bath salts to where you don't have a test to actually examine or test for these substances," she said.
Poppo's family has said it had no contact with him for more than 30 years and thought he was dead.
Eugene's girlfriend, meanwhile, has said he never showed any signs of violence. Yovonka Bryant said she and Eugene often read the Bible and the Quran together, and often watched a religious television program in the mornings. She said she never saw Eugene drink and only saw him smoke marijuana once at a party.
Bryant said in a statement Wednesday night that the toxicology results did not shock her.
"I knew Rudy would never use any kind of artificial or man-made drugs. The report provides us with an even bigger question mark as to what happened on May 26, 2012," Bryant said. "We may never know why Rudy did what he did. It remains a mystery. All we can do is move forward and hope that a crime of this magnitude will never happen again, and that Rudy's victim has a speedy recovery."
The attack sparked a statewide crackdown on synthetic drugs and bath salts, with many South Florida counties and cities moving forward with ordinances to ban and restrict their sale.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi held a ceremonial signing of House Bill 1175, which outlaws more than 90 new forms of synthetic drugs.