NEW YORK (PIX11)—It's being called the Miami zombie attack -- by a man who was clearly not in his right mind when he ate off most of a homeless man's face. Well, it turns out that before spending almost four decades on the streets, the homeless victim had attended and graduated from the elite Stuyvesant high school.
Ronald Poppo is reportedly a member of the class of 1964.
According to the Miami New Times, he earned a Bronze Scholarship Certificate, joined the Latin Club, and worked in the school's guidance office.
Impressive credentials -- which makes it all the more baffling how a teenager with such a solid academic foundation ended up a drifter who lived and almost lost his life on the streets.
What we do know is Poppo was arrested in 2005 for trespassing on Miami's MacArthur Causeway.
It's the same roadway where police say 31-year old Rudy Eugene spent a bone-chilling 18-minutes attacking Poppo.
And while no drugs were found at the scene, Pix11's Dr. Steve Salvatore says investigators are on the right track in speculating that Eugene may have been high out of his mind on a designer drug -- a synthetic stimulant called "bath salts".
Aside from chewing off 80-percent of another man's face -- while naked -- an officer at the scene had to shoot Eugene several times in order to put him down.
"Bath salts definitely could have done this. Because besides the effects the where we get increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, we also know that it causes extreme paranoia, delusions, and hallucinations", said Dr. Steve.
We still don't know for sure whether Rudy Eugene's actions were drug related or the result of some acute mental illness. We'll know more with the release of a toxicology report.