MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been nearly one year since Ronald Poppo and Rudy Eugene crossed paths on the MacArthur Causeway in an infamous incident which garnered worldwide attention.
Tuesday, Poppo’s medical team at Jackson Memorial Hospital, will update the public on how he is one year after Eugene attacked him and chewed off large portions his face.
Eugene was walking across the MacArthur Causeway bridge and ran into Poppo, who was homeless at the time. Eugene had stripped off most of his clothes and began attacking Poppo and tearing his clothes off as well.
Horrified onlookers called police as the attack continued and Eugene began to eat away at Poppo’s face. By the time police arrived, Eugene had ripped the flesh from Poppo’s face in strips and had bitten off part of his nose and gouged out his eyes.
“He attacked me,” Poppo said of Rudy Eugene during a July 19, 2012 interview with Miami homicide detectives. “He just ripped me to ribbons. He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically that’s all there is to say about it.”
Eugene was in a frenzied attack and the only way police could get him to stop was to shoot and kill him on the spot. Paramedics came and took Poppo to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for the bizarre cannibalistic attack.
In talks with detectives Poppo said Eugene started to scream as he was attacking him and said that both of the men were going to die. Poppo described the attack saying Eugene “mashed my face into the sidewalk. My face is all bet and mashed up. My eyes, my eyes got plucked out. He was strangling me in wrestling holds as he was plucking my eyes out.”
Poppo’s chances for survival looked grim, but he pulled through the initial days of the recovery and began to try to put his life back together as best he could.
While the horror of that day will stay in the minds of Poppo, his family, Eugene’s family, and everyone involved in the story; the 65-year-old Poppo has made remarkable strides since he was first taken to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Today a lot has changed for Poppo since the horrific incident.
Poppo is living at Jackson Memorial Perdue Medical Center and has gained more than 50 pounds since he first came into the hospital’s emergency room. Poppo is working with an occupational therapist and has learned how to dress himself, feed himself, shower and shave.
In addition, according to JMH, Poppo was given a guitar which he practices playing daily. Jackson is expected to release a recent video and photos to the media as well on Tuesday.