The homeless man whose face was chewed off by the “Miami Zombie” was identified Tuesday as a bearded, 65-year-old drifter with a long criminal record.
Ronald Poppo is clinging to life at Jackson Memorial Hospital, with only his goatee left intact. Gruesome photos circulating on the Internet show wounds so extensive that recovery appears unlikely.
Poppo, who may have originally been from New York but spent four decades on the streets in South Florida, was a regular under the bridge where he was attacked Saturday by Rudy Eugene, 31.
While witnesses might rather forget what they saw, cops were pleading for them to share every detail.
“We know that there were many people on the MacArthur Causeway and we’re hoping they come forward,” said Detective William Moreno.
Eugene died in a hail of police bullets after an initial shot failed to stop him from tearing away and swallowing chunks of Poppo’s face. Eugene was a former high school football player who listed his cell phone as his only asset when he divorced in 2005 after two years of marriage.
He had a half dozen misdemeanor arrests, mostly for smoking pot.
The Miami Herald reported that his victim had been arrested 24 times since 1978, mostly for drinking in public. He lived in New York and New Orleans before landing in South Florida, the paper said.
Cops and the hospital have been unable to locate a next of kin, or even any friends.
Authorities believe the man may have been high on LSD or bath salts when the attack occurred.
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