Face-Eater's Girlfriend: I Felt Safe With Him

Face-Eater's Girlfriend: I Felt Safe With Him

The girlfriend of a US man shot dead by police as he chewed the face of a homeless person has said she felt safe with him and has described him as a man of faith.

Yovonka Bryant said Rudy Eugene must have been drugged without his knowledge before the attack on 65-year-old Ronald Poppo.

Speaking for the first time in public since the grisly incident on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami last week, she said: "I felt safe with Rudy.

"Rudy never drank alcohol or used drugs around me. I only saw him smoke a marijuana cigarette once."

The 27-year-old had been seeing Eugene regularly since March and spoke to him by text message the day before the attack.

"Rudy and I never discussed cannibalism or voodoo," she said, adding that they took bible classes together and liked to watch a morning TV religious show.

"There was no warning sign. I believe that he never would have knowingly or intentionally inflicted harm... most likely he was given a drug without his knowledge."

She is the second woman to come forward and identify herself as Eugene's girlfriend.

Last week, another, speaking on condition of anonymity and who had been in a relationship with Eugene for five years, said she believed he was either drugged or a voodoo curse was put on him.

Officers shot and killed Eugene, 31, who was naked when he ripped off almost the entire face of his victim , after he failed to respond to orders to stop.

Mr Poppo remains in a critical condition in a Miami hospital after suffering the loss of most of his face including his mouth, nose and ears.

Witnesses at the scene said Eugene "growled" and continued to eat his victim Ronald Poppo, after he was shot.

Police are still investigating the attack , including the possibility Eugene may have been under the influence of the synthetic stimulant 'bath salts' which produces an often aggressive, chaotic experience for users, coupled with intense hallucinations.

On Wednesday, police issued a warnings about a drug called "Cloud Nine", believed to be a type of "bath salts", and drug-fuelled violence, after a homeless man threatened to eat two police officers .

Officers were warned to be extremely cautious around disorderly homeless men, and the public to call police immediately if they spotted anyone showing signs of being on the new drug.

Brandon De Leon was arrested in North Miami Beach after he entered a restaurant yelling obscenities.

On the way to the station the 21-year-old slammed his head against the police car protective barrier, shouting to the officers: "I'm going to eat you."

Later, he growled and grunted like an animal, and tried to bite an officer's hand, police said, prompting them to fit him with a bite mask and leg restraints.

De Leon, who was arrested on Saturday, tested positive for marijuana, Xanax and alcohol, also told authorities he had taken the ecstasy-like drug "Cloud Nine".

The case "bears resemblance to an incident that occurred in the city of Miami last week, when a male ate another man's face", a police memo to officers warned on Wednesday.

"Please be careful when dealing with the homeless population during your patrols."