Cannibalism Case Could Be Caused By Bath Salts

RENO, NV - Surveillance footage from the Miami, Herald shows paramedics trying to save 65-year old Ronald Poppo.

A homeless man, police say he was attacked by 31-year old Rudy Eugene--whose lifeless body can been seen on the top left of the footage.

According to published reports, Rudy Eugene had been arrested a handful of times on Marijuana-related charges, but Saturday’s incident is a far cry from a drug charge. Local law enforcement says the crime simply underscores what we don’t know about the illegal stimulants.

Police say they shot Eugene as he was chewing off Poppo's face. Police suspect Eugene was on the illegal stimulants known as Bath Salts.

“We don't know what their mind frame is, so when you are contacting somebody who has been using or is under the influence of this you use extreme caution,” says Sergeant Ernesto Layva from Reno Police Department’s SET Team.

And since the state ban on bath salts went into effect earlier this year, Sergeant Leyva says the use appears to have leveled out.

The problem with the drug, despite the fact it is illegal and dangerous, no one--not law enforcement, not even pharmacists, nor physicians can know for certain the effects of bath salts also known as fake cocaine.

While they can say symptoms like extreme agitation or paranoia can pose a threat to the user and those around him no one can say how much of the illegal drug will cause such symptoms and if the effects are permanent.

Before this near deadly attack and fatal officer involved shooting, Eugene had apparently left his girl friend's house early Saturday morning, stopped by a friend's house in North Miami and claimed he was on his way to a series of outdoor concerts and parties on Miami Beach.

Autopsy results will not be released for weeks.

As for Poppo, doctors say he will require months of treatment to rebuild his features.

Doctors say he will be permanently disfigured.

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