Face-Eater's Victim Named
Ronald Poppo, 65, had been on the streets for decades
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2012 3:27 AM CDT
Ronald Poppo is fighting for his life after his face was eaten by Rudy Eugene.   (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Police Dept.)

(Newser) – The man critically injured in Miami's horrific face-eating attack has been identified as Ronald Poppo, a 65-year-old homeless man. Poppo had a tough life even before the attack that cost him 75% of his face, and had been homeless for nearly four decades, the Miami Herald finds. Records show that Poppo, who was born in New York, has been arrested some two dozen times, mostly for public drinking and trespassing, and was treated for a gunshot wound in 1976.

At Miami rescue missions, people say Poppo, nicknamed "Kenny Rogers," never bothered anybody. Police have been unable to locate a next of kin. The man who attacked Poppo, punching him, ripping off his clothes, and gnawing at his face before being shot dead by police, has been identified as Rudy Eugene. Friends say the 31-year-old attacker was not homeless or mentally ill. "Rudy was not a face-eating zombie monster,” says a high school friend. “The Rudy we know was a nice gentleman with a warm smile, and funny." Toxicology reports that might help explain the crazed attack have not been completed.