Attorney Gloria Allred now involved in South Beach cannibal case

4:00 PM, Jun 2, 2012   |    comments
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MIAMI, Florida (CBSMiami) - High-powered Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred is now connected to Miami's infamous "Causeway Cannibal" case.

Allred has confirmed to our sister station CBS4 News that she is representing one of the girlfriends of Rudy Eugene, the man shot and killed by police after brutally attacking and eating the face of a homeless man over Memorial Day weekend.

It's not clear why Allred is representing the girlfriend. Allred told CBS4 News she has no plans at the moment to release a statement, hold a press conference or visit the girlfriend in Miami.

The Memorial Day weekend "zombie attack" has become one of South Florida's most notorious crimes and has captured headlines all over the world.

GRAPHIC PHOTOS: South Beach cannibal victim photos

Surveillance video from The Miami Herald shows 65-year-old Ronald Poppo being attacked by Eugene in broad daylight alongside the busy MacArthur Causeway. Eugene was shot dead on the scene by a Miami Police officer when he refused to stop ripping at Poppo's face with his mouth and even growled at the officer who ordered him to get off the homeless man.

Police have not released a motive for the attack on Poppo, who had been homeless for decades.

The head of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, Armando Aguilar, speculated that Eugene may have been high on LSD or "bath salts," which can cause psychosis as the body overheats.

Eugene did strip off all of his clothes as he walked from Miami Beach to the mainland over the MacArthur Causeway before encountering Poppo and beginning the unprovoked, savage attack.

The assault continued for 18 minutes while drivers and cyclists streamed past. It will take several weeks for the toxicology reports to determine if drugs played a role in this bizarre attack.

Another woman, who had an on-again, off-again relationship with Eugene for five years said she believed Eugene must have been drugged unknowingly, or cursed. The girlfriend, who didn't want to be identified, said the "Causeway Cannibal" was nothing like the man she knew and loved.

"Rudy Eugene was not no zombie or 'Miami Zombie' like they're saying. He was a human being and that wasn't him," she said.

She described him as a "sweet loving gentleman" and a "hard working man" who worked at a car wash and dreamed of owning his own business.

Eugene's girlfriend said she believes he was drugged unknowingly. The only other explanation, she said, was supernatural, that someone put a Voodoo curse on him. The girlfriend, who unlike Eugene is not Haitian, said she has never believed in Voodoo, until now. "I don't know how else to explain this," she told CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.

Eugene's girlfriend said she has no idea what caused the vicious attack but she saw no signs of any violence in the nearly five years they lived together.

"That wasn't him, that was his body but it wasn't his spirit.  Somebody did this to him," she said.  She described Eugene as religious and always had his Bible with him wherever he went.

Meanwhile, Poppo remains at Jackson Memorial Hospital facing months of treatment to rebuild his features and psychological care. The Jackson Memorial Foundation has set up a fund to assist him.

If you want to contribute, or would like more information, contact Neighbors for Neighbors at 305-597-4404.


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