Miami Face-Eater Knew Victim
Eugene met Poppo when he volunteered with Miami homeless
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2012 6:58 AM CDT
Rudy Eugene, 31, left, was shot and killed by police as he ate the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, during a horrific attack on Saturday, May 26, 2012.    (AP Photo/Miami-Dade Police Dept.)

(Newser) – The horrific Miami face-eater case has taken yet another bizarre turn. Rudy Eugene, the 31-year-old man shot dead by police as he growled and chewed off a homeless man's face, met his victim years earlier when he was doing community work feeding the homeless, the Miami Herald reports in a profile of Eugene. Ronald Poppo "seemed like a nice and kind man,” says a close friend of Eugene's who carried out the community work with him. “I remember when we gave him food.’’ Poppo is still in the hospital and has undergone surgery several times.

The Herald's lengthy piece digs into Eugene's relationships—including a reportedly violent 18-month marriage. And while he apparently often fought with his mother (she "just makes me upset because she always calls me a bum," he told police who tased him in 2004 after an argument), the article opens with the story of her own frustration—at being turned down by four Haitian churches in Miami, all unwilling to hold her son's funeral. She eventually found a funeral home chapel that agreed to do so. "I believe that we can all agree in this room what happened two weeks ago on Saturday ending Rudy’s life is not consistent with who Rudy was," a pastor said at the service. "The events of May 26 remind us that we live in a broken world. We live in a dark world." Click to read the entire piece.