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Marijuana found in face-chewer's body, but no other drugs, medical examiner says

Rudy Eugene, left, was shot after he refused to stop chewing the face of Ronald Poppo, right.
Rudy Eugene, left, was shot after he refused to stop chewing the face of Ronald Poppo, right.Handout / Reuters

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner found only marijuana in the body of the man who was fatally shot while chewing a homeless man's face over Memorial Day weekend.

The medical examiner's office said on Wednesday that 31-year-old Rudy Eugene's toxicology was complete.

"The department's toxicology laboratory has identified the active components of marijuana," the medical examiner said in a statement. "The laboratory has tested for but not detected any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs, or any adulterants found in street drugs."

The department also ruled out common drugs found in the street drugs called bath salts, which authorities had initially speculated were the cause of the brutal attack on Ronald Poppo. 

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He has been recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center since the May 26 attack along the MacArthur Causeway.
Poppo was rushed to the hospital after he was attacked by Eugene, who tore off and chewed most of the 65-year-old's face, authorities said. He also suffered trauma to his brain, doctors said.

Poppo also had a couple puncture wounds in his left chest area.

About 50 percent of his face, including his forehead and cheek, was affected and he has an infection, brain injury and a puncture wound to his chest.

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Eugene was fatally shot by an officer after he refused to stop the savage attack on Poppo, police said. Witnesses said a naked Eugene was throwing his clothes into traffic and swinging from a light pole shortly before the attack.

The medical examiner's department also got assistance from an outside forensic toxicology lab, which confirmed that there were no bath salts, synthetic marijuana or LSD in Eugene's system.

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"Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene," the statement said.

The attack sparked a statewide crackdown on synthetic drugs and bath salts, with many South Florida counties and cities moving forward with ordinances to ban and restrict their sale.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi held a ceremonial signing of House Bill 1175, which outlaws more than 90 new forms of synthetic drugs.

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