The Miami man who was shot to death by a police officer in May for allegedly chewing off a homeless man’s face did not have the “bath salts” drug in his system, lab tests have shown, despite initial reports that he was high on the substance at the time.

Bath salts, a street drug with similar effects to cocaine and methamphetamine, have been blamed for a variety of bizarre crimes nationwide in recent months.

The only substance found during an autopsy of the body of Rudy Eugene at the time of his death was marijuana, according to The Miami Herald. The Miami-Dade County medical examiner told the paper that Eugene also tested negative for adulterants that are often combined with street drugs.

Eugene reportedly attacked Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man, on May 26. Poppo remains hospitalized and deformed, according to ABC News, after Eugene took out Poppo’s eyes and chewed off pieces of his nose and cheeks in a gruesome attack lasting 18 minutes.

According to reports, Eugene growled at police when he was asked to cease his actions. During a press conference, his girlfriend Yovonka Bryant said that Eugene was a loving person.

“I wish the public knew Rudy the way that I did,” said Bryant. “I believe that he would never have normally and intentionally inflicted harm and that most likely he was given a drug without his knowledge.”

Bryant told the Herald that she has only seen Eugene smoke marijuana once, at a party.

However, according to ABC News, an unidentified ex-wife of Eugene said that he was violent and that she was afraid of him.

“He was always felt like people always against him,” said the woman, who was reportedly too afraid to show her face to the camera. She did not discuss any possible drug use by Eugene.

According to the Herald, Eugene’s family will not take legal action against the officer, as police said the use of deadly force against him was necessary. Poppo’s family had no contact with him for 30 years, and believed he was dead. 

Jessika Morgan

AFRO Staff Writer