Bath salts made national headlines on May 26, 2012 in Miami, Florida in one of the most gruesome acts of violence in recent history.
A naked man was found chewing off the face of another naked man on the side of the road. When approached by police officers and ordered to stop, the suspect (Rudy Eugene) just looked at the officers, growled, and began chewing on the victims flesh again. Police officers then shot the suspect but the first shot was ignored by the suspect. The man was eventually shot multiple times and killed by the police. Both the suspect and victim were homeless at the time of the incident. The victim, identified as Ronald Poppo remains in critical condition.
The first news reports all stated that the attacker was under the influence of a new designer drug that has hit the streets named “bath salts.” Despite the name, the synthetic drug is not the same as salts used in bath tubs world-wide. The name (also known as “ivory wave,” “purple wave,” “bliss,” and “vanilla sky”) was given to allow the product to be distributed on the open market marked surreptitiously as being “not for human consumption.”
However, many of these news outlets are going to have to retract their earlier stories, as the Miami coroner has released a report stating that Rudy Eugene was not under the influence of Bath Salts at the time of the attack. The report only showed marijuana in his system. Although marijuana can acerbate certain psychological disorders, it is not known to cause the level of “excited delirium” that he showed signs of.
In the statement by the Medical Examiner’s office, they explained that they ran a battery of tests to confirm what drugs he was on, and he came back clear, except for the marijuana. They stated, “This includes
- amphetamines (ecstasy, meth and others)
- phencyclidine (PCP or angel dust)
- synthetic marijuana (Spice)
- many other similar compounds
This may just be another case of a man having a psychological break and lashing out in a horrific manner.
It’s a tragic story, and although now seems to have nothing to do with bath salts, at least it did raise the issue to the public, so hopefully an actual tragedy resulting from bath salts can be avoided in the future.