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Ronald Poppo: Miami face-chewing victim speaks about attack for first time

Ronald Poppo said Rudy Eugene mashed his face into the sidewalk and plucked out his eyes before a police officer shot and killed him that fateful day in May.

Florida face-chewing victim Ronald Poppo said Rudy Eugene mashed his face into the sidewalk and plucked out his eyes before a police officer shot and killed him that fateful day in May.

"He just ripped me to ribbons," Poppo told investigators in a recorded interview on July 19 that was obtained by CBS 4 Miami.

Two months after Eugene managed to disfigure 80 percent of Poppo's face, the victim of the horrifying incident answered questions for police, describing the horrific attack that he still can't understand. Poppo said he had never met Eugene before he approached him on a sidewalk near a Miami highway.

"For a very short amount of time I thought he was a good guy," Poppo told police. "But 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."

Poppo, a New York native, told police Eugene was screaming and said he was going to kill him, and muttered, "You, me, buddy, and nobody else here."

"He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically that’s all there is to say about it," Poppo said.

CBS 4 reports that Poppo later told police that Eugene accused him of taking his Bible, which he denied doing. Pieces of the Bible were found on the sidewalk.

"What can provoke an attack of that type?" Poppo asked during the interview. "I certainly didn't curse at the guy or say anything mean or nasty to him."

Poppo has undergone a series of reconstructive surgeries, but he is now blind in both eyes. Still, his doctors say he has made remarkable progress in his recovery.

 
 
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