Victim of face-eating attack faces threat of infection
The homeless man from Miami who had his face mostly eaten off by another man on Saturday afternoon is at risk for infection from his injuries.
Ronald Poppo, 65, was lounging in the shade when Rudy Eugene, 31, approached him. Eugene pulled the homeless man up, stripped and beat him, and proceeded to chomp on his face. Eugene was shot and killed by a responding police officer after he refused to stop gnawing on his victim’s face. The attack, which lasted about 18 minutes, was captured on a surveillance camera outside of the Miami Herald building.
Doctors explain that the mouth is teeming with infectious bacteria that could have been transferred from Eugene’s mouth to Poppo’s wounds.
“The human mouth is basically filthy,” says Dr. Seth Thaller, the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
Poppo, who remains in the hospital, will likely undergo facial reconstruction. The procedure will entail months of treatment and Poppo’s face will be permanently disfigured.
“He had his face eaten down to his goatee. The forehead was just bone. No nose, no mouth,” reports Sgt. Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police.
Miami police have dubbed this incident as one of the “goriest” attacks they have ever seen. Eugene’s motives are unclear and Eugene’s family members note that he was not a heavy drinker or drug user and such actions were out of character.