From AFP, June 7, 2012
Miami police have warned of a potent new mind-altering drug called “Cloud Nine,” after a snarling homeless man threatened to eat two officers a week after a grisly face-gnawing attack.
The ecstasy-like drug is part of a new line of over-the-counter “bath salts” implicated in an attack last week in which a growling naked man chewed off most of a homeless man’s face before being shot dead by police.
The police department is now warning officers to be extremely cautious around disorderly homeless men and telling the public to call police immediately if they see anyone showing signs of being on the new drug.
In the latest incident, police took Brandon De Leon into custody after he entered a restaurant shouting obscenities and initially resisted arrest.
On the way to the station he slammed his head against the plexiglass barrier in the patrol car, shouting to the officers: “I’m going to eat you!”
Later, the 21-year-old growled and grunted like an animal, and tried to bite an officer’s hand, police said, prompting them to fit him with a bite mask and leg restraints.
In addition to the Cloud Nine, police also believe De Leon finished off a bottle of rum and was working on a beverage called Four Loko, which combines alcohol and caffeine. He tested positive for marijuana, Xanax and alcohol.
The case “bears resemblance to an incident that occurred in the city of Miami last week, when a male ate another man’s face,” a police memo to officers warned.
“Please be careful when dealing with the homeless population during your patrols.”
Last week a nude assailant almost killed another man by trying to bite his face off, in what some media reports have dubbed the “zombie” attack. The aggressor, Rudy Eugene, 31, was shot dead by police.
The homeless victim, who also was naked during the attack, remains hospitalized and fighting for his life.
Television footage and news photos have shown the two men sprawled on the sidewalk side by side in broad daylight, with the victim barely conscious and covered in blood.
Police have suggested Eugene was under the influence of “bath salts”, a synthetic stimulant usually sold in shops selling drug paraphanelia which produces intense hallucinations and sparks erratic, violent behavior.
Cloud Nine is “addictive and dangerous,” the memo said, part of a “disturbing trend” in which new drugs are sold in the guise of household products.
The drug, sold as “Ivory Wave” or “Cloud Nine,” comes in harmless-looking packets, police said, adding that it is illegal in Britain and Australia.
Eugene’s girlfriend, who asked not to be identified, told The Miami Herald that the frenzied attacker bore no resemblance to the man she was dating, and said he might have unwittingly been under the influence of drugs.
“The only other explanation was supernatural — that someone put a voodoo curse on him,” the woman told the daily of Eugene, who is of Haitian descent.