Toxicology Experts Question Claim That Miami Face-Chewer Was Not on Bath Salts: Report

Labs can only test for a fraction of the bath salt compounds out there, leading toxicologist Dr. Barry Logan told the Sun Sentinel

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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. (Published Thursday, Jun 28, 2012)

    Miami-Dade authorities found only marijuana in the body of Rudy Eugene, but scientists and observers question the claim that he was not on bath salts or synthetic marijuana when he chewed a homeless man’s face, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

    The most advanced lab can only test for 17 of the 100-plus chemical compounds that are used to make synthetic marijuana, leading toxicologist Dr. Barry Logan said.

    And toxicologists are currently only able to test for 40 of the hundreds of bath salt compounds out there, Logan told the newspaper.

    "This is always a moving target," said Logan, who directs forensic and toxicological services at NMS Labs in Pennsylvania, the same lab Miami-Dade County hired to help test Eugene. "As soon as a test exists for something, there are new compounds waiting in the wings. We are always a step behind."

    Eugene was fatally shot during his brutal attack on Ronald Poppo, 65, who has been recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center since the May 26 incident along the MacArthur Causeway.

    Hear Rudy Eugene's girlfriend talk about him

    The Miami-Dade medical examiner said in late June that his department’s toxicology laboratory found marijuana in the body of Eugene but not any other street drugs, including synthetic pot. But the results came with a key disclaimer: “Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”

    Now, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti is just one of the so-called “doubting Thomases” who think that Eugene was on something not detected by the labs that did the toxicology tests, the Sun Sentinel reported.

    Logan told the paper that Eugene’s apparently delusional and hallucinating behavior was consistent with bath salts, while the University of Florida’s director of toxicology said he thinks Eugene was on a far stronger drug than marijuana when he attacked Poppo.

    "To say marijuana could have induced this behavior is simply outrageous," Dr. Bruce Goldberger said.

    "No matter how sick mentally or physically a person is, they don't go around eating people's faces, or barking at police, or eating a dog, like what happened recently in Texas,” Goldberger added, referring to a recent case in which a man tried to eat a dog and told police he was high on synthetic marijuana.