‘Miami cannibal’ identified by police, ‘bath salts’ blamed for rampage

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, May 29, 2012 14:42 EDT
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MacArthur Parkway in Miami
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The Miami man who was shot to death by police yesterday while attacking another man and eating his face has been identified as 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, according to Miami’s CBS affiliate, Channel 4. Eugene is believed to have been homeless at the time of the crime. His last known address, said Channel 4, was in north Miami.

Police are blaming the attack on what they and the media are falsely calling “a new form of LSD,” the drug mephedrone. Mephedrone is not a hallucinogen like LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, but rather a stimulant that can be swallowed in capsules, snorted, smoked or shot intravenously.

The high produced is similar to that produced by cocaine and amphetamines or the designer drug MDMA. It is a recent arrival to the cocktail of party drugs available to users in the U.S. and Europe, having first become popular among U.K. party-goers and club kids in 2008.

Users report feelings of increased affability and energy, intense pleasure from music and a sense of confidence and well-being. At toxic levels, however, the drug can produce intense anxiety, hallucinations, sharply raised body temperature, delirium and extreme aggression.

The drug has been sold under the names “bath salts” and “plant food” although it has never served either purpose. A controversy is currently raging in the U.K. about the drug’s alleged toxicity, with police and medical personnel calling the drug a menace and some members of the public accusing them of scare-mongering.

Channel 4 emphasized that there are no definitive answers about the presence of drugs in Eugene’s system. That information won’t be available until the coroner’s office releases a toxicology report, which is expected to take weeks.

The identity of the victim in the attack has not been made public.

Watch a video report about this story, which originally broadcast May 29 and is embedded via Miami’s CBS 4, below:

(image via CBS Channel 4 screen grab)

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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