(L) Ronald Poppo, 65 (R) Rudy Eugene, 31 - Photos issued by Miami-Dade Police Dept
Miami cannibal attack victim Ronald Poppo, 65, has spoken to investigators about what he recalled about the man who chewed off his face, saying his attacker "just ripped me to ribbons."
Below are the point-by-point details of Poppo's recollection of the May 26 attack. Investigators' interview with him had been taped and made available Thursday.
Poppo recalls terrifying ordeal with a cannibal-like attacker
- A man who seemed friendly had approached him. "For a while he was acting nice," Poppo said, adding, "For a very short amount of time I thought he was a good guy."
- The man, Rudy Eugene, 31, seemed to have become upset. "Then he got flustered. He probably remembered something that happened on the beach and was not happy about it," Poppo recalled, saying Eugene "turned berserk."
- Poppo mentioned Eugene had accused him of stealing his Bible in Miami Beach. Poppo recalled telling Eugene he did not steal from him, and he had not been to Miami Beach.
- "He apparently didn't have a good day at the beach and he - he was coming back. And I guess he took it out - took it out on me - or something. I don't know," Poppo said.
- Poppo seemed very sure he "did not antagonize the offender in any way."
- At one point, Poppo recalled Eugene saying, "You're going to be my wife and this is going to be a Lover's Concerto." It was then that Eugene had him in a headlock and dragged him along the sidewalk
- "He was talking kind of funny talk for a while too ...That I was gonna die. And he was gonna die. He must have been souped up on something. He - he had some kind [of] desperate preoccupation of that type."
- Answering police query on what he could have done to provoke Eugene, Poppo said: "What could provoke an attack of that type? I didn't curse at the guy or say anything mean or nasty."
- Poppo thanked the police for arriving just in time, saying he would have died before getting to the hospital if the police had been a little late.
It is understood that police had arrived at the height of Eugene's violence. Eugene was shot and killed by a Miami police officer on the Macarthur Causeway. Post-humous lab tests found only marijuana in Eugene's system.
Some things don't add up
As investigations are ongoing, authorities need to piece together surveillance videos and Poppo's accounts of what happened on May 26. However, some things do not match in the recollection.
The Salt Lake Tribune noted Poppo had described Eugene to be wearing a green shirt and getting out of a car. However, a surveillance video recorded from security cameras on The Miami Herald building showed a naked Eugene walking towards Poppo, who was reclining on the sidewalk near the parking garage where he lived.
Poppo, a homeless man, is staying in a long-term care facility. He lost an eye, his eyebrows and his nose in the gruesome assault. Parts of Poppo's forehead and right cheek were chewed off, while his other eye was severely damaged.
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