Photo by Jackson Memorial Hospital/Getty Images.
The man who had part of his face gnawed off earlier this year in a bizarre roadside attack told police that his attacker was initially friendly before suddenly "turning berserk."
"He just ripped me to ribbons," Ronald Poppo told investigators roughly two months after the attack in an interview that was recorded and aired for the first time Wednesday night on Miami’s CBS4 News. "He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically, that's all there is to say about it."
Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man, said that he initially thought Rudy Eugene was a "good guy," but then "he just went and turned berserk. 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.”
In a subsequent interview, Poppo said that Eugene accused him of stealing his bible, which was found scattered in pieces along the busy south Florida highway. Eugene was shot and killed by a Miami police officer responding to the attack.
From Eugene’s behavior, Poppo assumed his attacker was "souped up" on something. But the autopsy found only marijuana in the 31-year-old’s system, the Associated Press reports, and no other drugs or alcohol.
Last month, doctors said Poppo was in good spirits. He remains in a long-term care facility after losing an eye, his eyebrows, his nose, and parts of his forehead and right cheek in the May 26 attack. His other eye was badly damaged, leaving him blind.