by Isi Esene
All Ruth Charles wanted was to give her son a Christian burial in peace, but all the churches she could find turned her back. The only church which accepted later declined. In a country like Haiti where superstition is rife and voodoo is an accepted practice, no-one wanted to have anything to do with Charles and her dead son, Rudy Eugene.
Remember Rudy Eugene? He was shot dead by Miami police as he crouched over Ronald Poppo’s limp body, naked and growling, chewing off chunks of the man’s face. It took several bullets fired by a police officer to stop him.
In an extensive Miami Herald report, Eugene’s friend Christian says the two had met Poppo before while volunteering with Miami’s homeless community.
“Poppo seemed like a nice and kind man,” Christian told the Herald. “I remember when we gave him food.’’
The fact that police found torn-out pages from the Bible scattered along Eugene’s path and near the site of the attack has prompted many in the local community to think that religion played a part in his bizarre behaviour. Others blame voodoo based on Eugene’s Haitian heritage.
Though many had alleged that Eugene must have been under the influence of “bath salts,” a powerful synthetic amphetamine that has fueled a handful of grisly flesh-eating attacks across the US, toxicology tests showed Eugene’s body was clean except for marijuana.
“Drugs can open the gateway to the demons inside of you. Whatever he took opened that gateway and a demon came out,’’ said Joe Aurelus, Eugene’s friend since they attended church together as children. “Whatever he was fighting, it came out. I believe in spiritual battles. I believe in demons.”
“Rudy was fighting a demon that day and he lost.”
If it’s not drugs and no-one could establish that some form of mental illness or depression had afflicted the normal cross-wearing Eugene, then what, you might ask, triggered the Memorial Day attack?