911 callers report fight in face-chewing attack

Victim remains hospitalized in critical condition

Author: Ross Palombo, Investigative Reporter, rpalombo@Local10.com
Published On: Jun 01 2012 09:18:53 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 03 2012 04:04:18 PM EDT
MIAMI -

Just as the fight was breaking out, just as two naked men were on the causeway, just as one was chewing the face off of another, frantic calls were coming into 911.

LISTEN: Face eating attack 911 calls

"Two bums were going at it with each other," one caller said.

"Can't miss 'em, he's naked," another screamed.

"He is beating another man to a pulp," a third person reported.

Police say 31-year old Rudy Eugene was naked and beating and ripping the clothes off of a homeless man on the MacArthur Causeway last Saturday.

65-year old Ronald Poppo was left bleeding from the face as Eugene tore out his eye, nose, and cheek with his teeth.

"He's going to kill that man, I promise you," one caller screamed.

Officers rushed in and killed Eugene on the spot and rushed Poppo to the hospital.

At least eight hours before the attack, Eugene was also caught on another security camera on Miami Beach. The manager of a private school there said at 6 a.m. Saturday his surveillance camera showed a Blue Chevy Impala blocking his driveway.

Police didn't figure out that it was Eugene's car until three days later.

Witnesses said the video shows Eugene's car smoking from the engine. Apparently, something was wrong with the car and he and a friend got out and abandoned it. They also say it doesn't appear that there was anything wrong with either of the men.

Then, hours later, Eugene was suddenly seen walking on the causeway when he attacked Poppo. Poppo is still in critical condition Friday night.