By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
The disturbing story of the allegedly drug-crazed zombie cannibal who gnawed a homeless man’s face off took yet another bizarre twist on Monday when it was revealed that the pair knew each other before their fateful Memorial Day encounter.
“(Ronald Poppo) seemed like a nice and kind man,” Eugene’s friend Frederic Christian exclusively told the Miami Herald. “I remember when we gave him food.’’
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police after refusing to back down and growling when approached. His 64-year-old victim is still recovering in Jackson Memorial Hospital where doctors are waiting to see if he is eligible for a full face transplant.
Eugene was thought to be on the highly dangerous synthetic drug bath salts, but an autopsy carried out by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s office last month revealed that amazingly, only marijuana was found in his system.
However, some scientists and investigators are suspicious of the report due to the fact there are so many unknown variables about the new breed of narcotics.
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“We are not testing for everything that may be out there,” said Dr. Barry Logan, director of Forensic and Toxicological Services at NMS Labs in Pennsylvania.
There are hundreds of bath salt compounds out there, but toxicologists can only test for 40. “This is always a moving target,” he explained. “As soon as a test exists for something, there are new compounds waiting in the wings. We are always a step behind.”
Dr. Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida, also believes that Eugene was on a drug far stronger than marijuana when he ripped Poppo’s face off and ate his flesh.
“To say marijuana could have induced this behavior is simply outrageous,” said Goldberger, according to WPTV.com. “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.”
There has been a wave of disturbing reports of bath salts-induced attacks since Eugene rocketed to infamy in May, including a new mom who allegedly got high on the drug in the maternity ward just days after giving birth, and a man who went ballistic on a driving range and told police he was going to “eat them.”