Face chewing…


Warning: for my regular readers, this gets graphic in description but there are no visuals to avoid.

Right, I rarely do this… But I just heard and saw the stills and footage of a man in Miami who ate the face off another man. Rudy Eugene was shot to death by police, four shots. I wouldn’t be talking about it at all if I hadn’t read a load of comments about this incident on a website. The reactions just astounded me.

From America: I like that cops kill people that are eating other people’s faces off. “Get over it” (the bit in quotes from several commenters).

From everywhere else: How terrible that the cop had to use lethal force and shoot the man four times to stop him. Surely something else could have been done, we don’t allow our police to have guns and you Americans are too trigger-happy. Tasers, pepper spray, baton bludgeoning, and shooting the assailant in the legs were all mentioned as possible methods.

Okay, you’re both wrong. “Get over it” is not a valid argument. Neither is stating that you are happy that you live in a place where the law can kill people just because they are allowed to. I’m the daughter of a retired cop, and almost became one myself. Cops are people, and they make mistakes just like people do: all the time, every day. Being glad that you live in a place where those mistakes can be legally lethal isn’t something to be ‘proud’ of. If you can’t come up with a logical reason for why you think this shooting was justified, please don’t talk. You are the reason other people don’t like Americans.

The system needs work; I believe that human error is a terrible thing when lives are in the balance. I am not anywhere near qualified or educated enough to offer up a solution.

Now, the non lethal suggestions. The victim and assailant were on the ground, prone, and by appearances they were both naked or barely clothed on a hot summer Southern Florida day. Tasering would have further injured the bleeding man, because their bodes were in contact via various bodily fluids and actual fucking TEETH. I’m pretty sure the attacker had to have at least one hand on his victim, because it’s hard to rip someone’s face off without holding said face still. So – no taser, an instant decision by the officer on scene, if he even had one: and correct.

Next, pepper spray. Now, would YOU spray pepper in the face of a man with no face? Because the eating was still in progress, you know. Bad man’s face right there with faceless man’s. No, you wouldn’t do that. Another instant decision.

Leg shooting? No help here, the guy isn’t running away! What would sudden, non-lethal injury do to him? Not much other than perhaps cause more damage to the victim.

Not suggested: going up and grabbing the guy’s leg to drag him away, after repeated commands to cease and desist were ignored. Um. You’d really have to have balls of steel to do this, and a lot of back up in case the assailant turned on you. A uniform and bulletproof vest isn’t going to help against someone willing and able to tear off another’s face with his own teeth. The idea would have crossed my mind, were I the officer on the scene -but I’m pretty sure that sort of risk is discouraged in training. It’s really, really risky and not guaranteed to help the victim at all, and actually might put not only the cop but any bystanders at risk if the assailant escapes.

Baton/nightstick blows? Again, no – you’d have to get too close, and the risk to yourself and the victim is too great. No guarantee it would work, either – and in the meantime, someone is being eaten alive right in front of your eyes.

Clearly the guy is nuts, NO ONE does that sort of thing. So, he’s nuts…not in his right mind and probably not deserving to die for it. No one else deserved to be hurt or killed either. I think his only recourse was shooting the assailant to death – I can’t say how far apart those four shots were, but if it were me behind the gun, I’d be dammed aware that the last one hadn’t quite done the job and another terrible, horrible, necessary, shot was needed. The other critique I read about the shooting is that the victim and perpetrator were, indeed, face to face – and there was a risk of hitting the victim as well. Maybe, maybe. I can’t recall the last time a cop shot a victim while aiming for the criminal, though I suppose it has happened. If it were me, I’d take the chance – not only as the fastest and most secure way to stop the attack. I’d also be thinking, in the back of my mind: poor fucker, I wouldn’t want to live like that, if I miss it will be doing him a favor.

Not saying that’s a justification. Just saying, ‘if it were me’. I sure as shit would rather die than live with what this man will have to live with – if he lives at all.

I’d love to hear what my father has to say about this – maybe he’ll allow me to post a comment on his behalf…

18 responses »

  1. I was horrified by this story too but the first thought I had was, ‘did they have to shoot?’. It didn’t take me long to realize the answer is yes, for all of the same reasons you listed PLUS the fact that the guy had to be psychotic and/or high. If he is on PCP or something similar then you could put 6 shots into him and he could still jump up and start trying to chew off your face. Most civilians don’t realize how hard it is to stop a crazy/high person, even with a gun. Was I glad he was shot, no! Do I think far too many errors occur in our gun crazed culture? Absolutely. I think you and I ar on the same page on this one.

    • Hi there, I was thinking of you when I wrote this, as current events are more your domain! Somehow I couldn’t keep my ideas to myself here, and a part of me hopes that people on the sides will read it. I’m sure I wasn’t the most eloquent but I really couldn’t see any other option for the officer – if you saw the footage, he was flagged down on the street and was on his own. I think his choice of actions, under the circumstances, were the best ones he could have made.

  2. Spiders, the local news says the homeless, 65yr old man is in critical condition in a Miami hospital. They say his mouth, nose, and ears were chewed off by the 31yr old attacker. According to the news, the attacker may have been under the influence of a street drug, called ‘bath salts’, a new form of LSD, but the toxicology results won’t be available for several weeks. It’s a sad state of affairs either way, but if someone was chewing my face off, I would hope that someone would come to my rescue. Sad, sad, sad…

  3. Having dated an ex-cop for several years, I heard more than a few stories that forced thought about the kind of decisions cops are called upon to make. In this situation, the attacker — it seems through his own voluntary drug ingestion — had descended to the condition of a mad dog, which anyone would shoot. I don’t regard the higher animals as any different from humans, ethically, when it comes to deciding when it is right to use deadly force; but in a case like this nothing else is to be done. It’s still a tragedy and not to be exploited by people who just want to bash some mythical soft-hearted liberal.

    It’s not the Trayvon Martin thing, where all accounts suggest that there would have been no problem if an overzealous vigilante type had cooperated with the request to leave things to the police. It wasn’t Amadou Diallo, with multiple officers opening fire on a nonviolent suspect. This was the kind of nightmare that we want cops with guns to save us from.

    Americans are often very silly about guns, but I am tired of the way the European world animadverts upon the subject, as if every city block in America were the scene of routine gun violence after dark. (I also dated a Londoner and got a gut full of that kind of faux superiority. Romance is very educational.)

    • That’s spot on – people were jumping all over their bandwagons and soapboxes (there’s a mental picture) to abuse each other’s ideals. When at least one person has died horribly. The newscasts are worse – immediate blame of drugs and a music festival? How they could possibly know these things…? This incident is too horrific too be used for preaching. Hope I wasn’t doing so.

  4. First off my prayers go out to the family of the man that is the victim and the person that violated him. Always remember that people are a son or daughter of someone somewhere that cares whether homeless or not, problems or not, and sooo… on.
    I think that reporters in our area are using this instance as a get ahead. It’s just another large story. What they have failed to do is report the 4 other stories that have taken place also. When people lose interest it will go away. SAD BUT TRUE. I don’t let things go away in my mind and with my worry. It really disgusts me the names that are given in the case. Officers really aren’t trained to deal with such a horrific instance, they never had to be. So I will take this one chance to say I feel for that officer that had to put multiple shots in a human being and that sight that he had to see and circumstances he went thru. My total thought, I hate the way peole react to what is called news… I will leave in this note. And will revisit this post. I agree the officer did only what he was given the choice to do and I also know that that officer is going through a lot of tramatic feelings. I don’t think he had a choice! We question lesser actions don’t we.

    • I really didn’t say everything that I wanted to say and feel about this.
      And it’s not a new street drug called “Bath Salts” it is literally Bath Salts from any BBB that they are repurposing to get high.

    • Again, you’re correct – and being physically close to the area this occurred, you are seeing the newscasts firsthand. I can’t imagine what the policeman had to go through, I can only put myself in his shoes, and he did the only thing he could – not knowing what is going on, but knowing you have to assume the worst in order to protect the public and try to save one life by taking another.
      Sure, come back – you know I’m not in the area so I’m very interested to hear what it is like in Florida.

  5. That someone could be reduced to the state of eating another’s face is deeply shocking. We mostly lead very sheltered lives. Can’t fault the cop on this one – but what a horrible situation to be in and have to react fast.

    • This is so out of the frame of reference for most people that I couldn’t call us sheltered. A law-enforcement officer or a soldier might be forewarned of such things, which is why we have these people who are willing to do and think in ways so out there that the rest of us don’t have to. As the child of a cop, I also have learned to think ahead in strange situations and make quick decisions when quick is the only option – but this…

  6. Honestly, I get really tired of the generalizations about “Americans” this and “cops” that… There are so many different things that come into play here, and I think all of the comments here have very valid points. The assailant was obviously not in his right mind and he was IN THE PROCESS of maiming (could have killed) the prone man. Like Spiders said, it’s probably a good thing the cop didn’t use a taser because the victim would have suffered the consequences as well. The fact that the cop HAD to use more than one bullet (being shot once wasn’t distracting the attacker from his ‘meal’??!!!) also goes to state of mind. That man was VERY dangerous. I do not agree with unnecessary force, but cops get railed for EVERY decision they make. “He didn’t do enough, he did too much!” They have a hard job and not enough pay for it. This cop had a hard and split second decision to make and he did it. End of story.

    • As an American in Europe I get to hear it a lot – the most outrageous news is touted as ‘typical Americans’ and it seems such a shame how we’ve allowed ourselves to be ‘advertised.’ I’m pleased, however, that anyone who chose to comment here actually gave thought to the issues at hand. I’ve got a good group that cares and thinks, and I’m grateful that such a diversion from my regular nonsense hasn’t brought out fresh knee-jerk horrors such as what I spotted elsewhere.

      • To be sure… but even in the states, views are so radically different that to lump us all together as “typical Americans” is insulting. Does that elevate them above us in any way that they are being close-minded and stereotypical based on where I live? I am ashamed of a lot of the people I see when I even go out to Walmart. I am not a Kentuckian by birth and have not even lived here long, but someone once said the difference between states can be as different as the difference between countries sometimes. And in many ways, I think they are right. Should I assume these people are “typical Kentuckians?”
        Anyhoo…. would I mark myself a “typical” American by saying I DO think the cop did the right thing, and in a way I understand the “he deserved it” sentiment you mentioned in your initial article?… probably because of a sentiment that Dianda expressed which is ” this is where humanity is going.” I wish it was like you said and I DIDN’T have a frame of reference for this, unfortunately right with this news was news of a mother killing and dismembering her 3 week old baby. This is just the week’s newest atrocity. As a new (fairly new ) Mom, I am DISGUSTED and HORRIFIED by the things I hear and see on the news that people do to one another now. Some of these people…they’re better off dead. Anyway, there’s my extra two cents. 😉

    • It actually might have been six shots… But… that makes it worse. I can’t even get close to how someone could do that to themselves, if it was drugs. If it is just plain crazy – well, that’s some big crazy.

  7. Pingback: What I learned this week Dec 3 – 9 « heretherebespiders

  8. WOULD YOU SPAMMERS EVER FUCK THE HELL OFF? why do you keep blitzing this post? LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY. it is NOT HAPPENING. Go the fuck away.

    Sorry friends, I’m getting at least a dozen a day just on this post and I’m sick if it. Having a rant.

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