Bad Trips

Rudy Eugene, Brian De Leon, and More Crazy Bath Salt Freakouts

From a user trying to eat a police car to another cutting his own throat, a look at some of the most outrageous incidents linked to bath salts.

Chris Knight, The Patriot-News / AP Photo

Rudy Eugene, May 2012

On May 26, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene attacked 65-year-old Ronald Poppo on a highway in Miami. Eugene was completely naked during the attack, and reportedly ate most of Poppo’s face, leading many to refer to Eugene as a “zombie.” The attack lasted 18 minutes before Eugene was shot dead by police, and by the end of it, Poppo’s nose, eyes, and mouth had been torn away. Police originally thought the attack had been brought on by “cocaine psychosis,” but later, emergency-room doctors began to suspect that so-called bath salts may have been to blame.

Brian De Leon, June 2012

Days after the Rudy Eugene incident, 21-year-old Brandon De Leon was arrested after fighting at a fast-food restaurant in Miami. While in the police car, De Leon repeatedly banged his head against the Plexiglas and yelled, “I’m going to eat you.” When he got to the station, he attempted to make good on his promise and tried to bite the cop who was checking his blood pressure. Blood tests showed he was on bath salts, cannabis, and Xanax, and also had a blood alcohol level of 0.29.

Carl Jacquneaux, June 2, 2012

On June 2, Carl Jacquneaux went to his ex-wife’s house and repeatedly bit her husband, Todd Credeur, “removing flesh the size of a quarter” from his face, according to an affidavit. After Credeur sprayed bug spray in his attacker’s face to get away, Jacquneaux went to a neighboring house, where he demanded a gun at knifepoint. He got his hands on the gun, but was arrested at the end of the street. Police did not perform any blood tests, but a friend of Credeur’s said she believed Jacquneaux was on bath salts during the attack.

Kevin Boozer & Steven P. Lindsey , May 2012

In the span of a week in May 2012, police in Columbus shot two men who were both believed to have been under the influence of bath salts, even though the drugs are banned in Ohio. Kevin Boozer, 28, was shot by the SWAT team after holding a knife to his girlfriend’s neck. His family said bath salts usage had made him violent. Days later, police responded to a call that Steven P. Lindsey, also 28, was breaking into his own house. Authorities said he shot at officers when they arrived, and they in turn shot him, injuring his finger. He also reportedly was high on bath salts.

Eric Scott, February 2012

On Feb. 11, Eric Scott, 47, who was having a bad trip on bath salts, asked neighbors in Milton, Fla., to call 911 to help him get medical attention. When police arrived, he was cursing to himself and threw a flashlight at a mailbox and asked to be shot. The officers decided to handcuff him to await medical help. Unable to move his hands, Scott bit the police car and dragged his teeth across the hood, leaving teeth marks in the vehicle and causing $600 worth of damage.

Johnny Salazar, July 2011

Johnny Salazar was watching his two young sons one Sunday morning in Arizona, while the rest of his family was at church. At one point, he noticed that his 5-year-old was touching the Bible and determined that the boy must be possessed by a demon. He then used a cigarette lighter to burn the child’s hands and wrists. Salazar was taking bath salts at the time. Salazar’s mother said the burns did not require medical attention and noted that Salazar recently had broken up with the child’s mother. “He had a hard time accepting it, so he turned to bath salts,” she said.

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David Stewart, April 2011

In April 2011, after being pulled over by a state trooper, David “Doc” Stewart, who was an Army medic and had completed two tours of duty in Iraq, shot his girlfriend, Kristy Sampels, and then killed himself. It later emerged that Stewart’s 5-year-old son had been beaten and asphyxiated to death earlier in the day. Toxicology reports revealed that both Stewart and Sampels were high on bath salts at the time of their deaths, and Stewart had a jar of them in his pocket.

Terry Trent, November 2011

Terry Trent decided to have Christmas early while he was on bath salts in November 2011. Unfortunately, he celebrated by breaking into a house in Vandalia, Ohio, and putting up the family’s Christmas decorations, before passing out on their couch. He was discovered by an 11-year-old family member and police arrested him. But not before he reportedly told the boy, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’ll get my things and go.”

Patrick Powell, September 2011

Bath salts caused a commotion in the town of Cowpens, S.C., in September 2011, when Patrick Powell combined the drug with valium and alcohol and then went on a shooting spree around the neighborhood. He told police he had killed someone, but police never found a body in his house, and authorities determined he was hallucinating. His rampage only caused property damage, but he still faced charges of attempted murder for shooting while police officers were outside. But not everyone agreed with the charges. One of Powell’s neighbors said, “He never would’ve done that if it hadn’t been for something. That stuff made him go off the deep end.”

Mark Thompson, May 2011

In May 2011, 19-year-old Mark Thompson was found in his bedroom, with his pants down, wearing women’s lingerie, standing over a gray-and-white goat that he had stabbed to death. There also was a pornographic magazine lying near the goat’s remains. To make matters worse, the pygmy goat did not even belong to Thompson; it had been stolen from a 4-year-old boy. It all went down in West Virginia—after Thompson had taken bath salts.

Pamela Suzanne Higgins, January 2011

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2011, Pamela Suzanne Higgins got high on bath salts and went into her mother’s room swinging a machete, and asked, “You ain’t dead yet?” Her mother called the police, and Higgins left the house, but she was still in the area when police arrived and arrested her. Her mother said, “She’s done everything in the book and she’s never acted like that. All she does with that other stuff is run around like a chicken with its head cut off.”

Dickie Sanders, November 2010

Dickie Sanders, 21, had tried various kinds of drugs before, but snorting “Cloud Nine” bath salts resulted in his death. After being told bath salts would not show up on a drug test, he bought a packet from one of his fellow participants in a court-ordered drug-diversion program. After using, Sanders spent the next three days having psychotic episodes, during which he saw police who were really not there, used a kitchen knife to cut his own throat, and, eventually, used a rifle to shoot himself in the head. His father said, “This is not a high thing. This is like a pill that creates schizophrenia.”