Note: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing for some people
MIAMI (CNN) — Several vehicles, including buses and even three bicyclists, went past on a Miami street as a naked man chewed the face off a homeless man Saturday in what has been called a zombie-like attack, video footage posted by the Miami Herald shows.
The footage, taken by security cameras on the Herald building in downtown Miami, shows the entire 18-minute attack, which ended when a police officer shot the attacker after he did not stop his assault on the homeless man.
The video quality is poor, and facial details and the gore of the scene are not visible. But the movements of those involved are. The shooting itself is obscured by the bridge that carries Miami’s Metromover tramway over the site of the attack on the MacArthur Causeway.
It’s not clear how much of the attack motorists could have seen, as there is a waist-high concrete barrier between the road and the sidewalk where the attack took place, but one of the bicyclists passed on the sidewalk, and one driver slowed down to look at the scene.
The footage shows that attacker, identified by Miami-Dade Police as Rudy Eugene, 31, walking along the sidewalk and then stopping in a shaded area created by the tramway bridge. He apparently attacks the victim, dragging him out from the shade, stripping the victim’s clothes off and then beating him as the victim kicks his legs in an apparent attempt to fight back.
The attacker then spends several minutes crouched over the victim, including when a bicyclist rolls by on the sidewalk and a white sedan rolls very slowly past the scene.
Police said at least five of those passers-by called to the report the incident, according to the Miami Herald report accompanying the video.
When a patrol car arrives, the officer appears to draw his gun quickly, but the actual shooting is blocked by the tramway overpass.
Larry Vega witnessed the attack and spoke to CNN affiliate WSVN.
“The guy just kept eating the other guy away, like ripping his skin. It was just a blob of blood,” he told WSVN.
The arrival of police did not deter the attacker, Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar told CNN affiliate WPLG.
“When the officer approached him, told him to stop, pointed a gun at him, he turned around and growled like a wild animal and kept eating at the man’s face,” Aguilar was quoted as saying by WPLG.
Augilar said he suspects that the attacker was under the influence of “bath salts,” a drug that contains synthetic stimulants that can “cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions,” according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Four other instances of drug use in Miami-Dade bear resemblances to Saturday’s attack, Aguilar told WPLG.
Why ‘bath salts’ are dangerous
Sgt. Javier Ortiz, vice president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police, said officials won’t know for certain whether drugs played a role in the attack until toxicology reports are completed in a month or so. But he said police have been seeing increased incidents of drug-induced crime in the area.
Ortiz said the victim was in critical condition at a local hospital. He could not say whether the victim and attacker knew each other.
The Herald reported that the victim’s nose, face and eyes were torn off during the attack.