Drugs, Cannibals, or Zombies?: Social Media Reacts to Miami Beach Attack

As a native Miamian, I rarely find myself shocked by certain events (good or bad) that happen here. Miami is a place full of beautiful people, gorgeous beaches, a wealth of different cultures and so many more lovely things. However, we have had our fair share of tragedies, just as any other city has. The attack on Miami Beach over the Memorial Day weekend 2012 was a particularly horrific example.

If you have not heard about what happened yet, a man named Rudy Eugene, 31, attacked a man named Ronald Poppo, 65. According to reports, Eugene was naked and possibly on a drug called “bath salts.” During the attack on Puppo, Eugene ate off approximately 75% of Puppo’s face. Puppo is alive and continues to be listed in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Eugene was shot to death at the scene after an officer fired one shot and Eugene continued to attack Puppo, requiring the officer to shoot until Eugene stopped, which inevitably cost him his life.

This is the best way I can piece together and explain those events in the most unbiased way possible. There are many theories on what actually occurred that day. Most people initially assumed it must be drugs. Many have speculated he was on a new and highly potent drug, reported as being similar to LSD, referred to often as “bath salts.” It causes your internal temperature to skyrocket, which would explain Eugene taking all of his clothes off, and also can cause hallucinations, delusions and extreme paranoia, which could explain why he attacked Puppo.

As the story unfolded, a witness, as well as the police officer that shot Eugene, came forward saying that after the first shot fired, Eugene looked up at the officer with parts of Puppo’s face in his mouth, and growled. This started to spawn short-lived rumors of Eugene being a Cannibal. More people seemed to feel he was exhibiting “zombie-like” characteristics. I watched day-to-day as the Twitter and search engines trends morphed from “LSD” to “bath salts” to “Miami Cannibal” and finally settling in on “Zombie apocalypse.”

What actually happened that day? Well, in one week, the tox-screen on Eugene should return and eventually be made public. Hopefully at that point, we will have some clearer answers. As for now, most social media users are claiming the zombie apocalypse is upon us. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


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