Persistent cases of 'zombie attack' suggest bath salts epidemic
Two weeks after the infamous "Miami Zombie" attack, new cases of bizarre attacks continue to be reported in the media. Analysts say that the persistent reports are evidence of a sharp increase in the use of street drugs that cause "beast-like" behavior.
The Huffington Post
reports that police say that on Saturday, a Miami man believed to be under the influence of "Cloud 9," a substance described as a form of bath salts, growled fiercely at police officers, tried to bite them and screamed at them, saying "I'm going to eat you."
Brandon De Leon, 21, a homeless man, had a verbal altercation with a man during which they reportedly obstructed a restaurant business by blocking the entrance.
According to the police arrest report
, De Leon became aggressive when police officers tried to arrest him. He yelled "F**k you!" at a police officer. Police say that while De Leon was in the patrol car, he banged his head violently on the Plexiglass, yelling, "I'm going to eat you."
According to The Hufffington Post
, he tried to bite an officer at the station. He "growled and opened and closed his jaw slamming his teeth like an animal would." He smashed his head against the wall after he was placed in a holding cell. His behavior forced police officers to conclude that he was under the influence of "some type of dangerous narcotic."
Blood tests revealed that De Leon, who was in possession of rum and Four Loko when he was arrested, was under the influence of "Cloud 9." The test also revealed "levels of cannabis, alcohol and Xanax." According to an officer safety report
, De Leon's case, "bears resemblance to the incident that occurred in the City of Miami last week when a male ate another man's face. Please be careful when dealing with our homeless population during your patrols."
At his bond hearing on Monday, De Leon reportedly told the judge: "I have no recollection of anything that happened that night."
The Huffington Post
reports that following the incident, Thomas A. Carney, North Miami Beach Police Director Services issued a release on the the drug called "Cloud 9":
--Psychoactive drug that produces distinctive emotional and social effects, similar to those of Ecstasy (MDMA).
--Amphetamine and cathinone class drug that has a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be physically and psychologically addictive
--A synthetic substance based on the (cathinone) compounds that exist in the Khat plant of East Africa.
Users may swallow, snort or inject mephedrone. It can come in the form of tablets, capsules or white powder. Snorting is the most common way of taking the drug, and injection the rarest.
Symptoms can include, excessive sweating, headaches, heart palpitations, nausea, severe panic attacks, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, agitation and erratic behavior.
also report a "zombie attack" in Scott, Louisiana, that occurred over the weekend. Gawker
reports that the attack was "eerily similar to the case out of Florida connected with bath salts."
According to KATC.com
, Scott Assistant Police Chief Kert Thomas, reports that during the attack that occurred in Lafayette Parish, a suspect bit a chunk of the victim's face off. Police say 43-year-old Carl Jacquneaux had an altercation with Todd Credeur over a domestic issue. Jacquneaux attacked Credeur and bit him in the face. Credeur told KATC.com
, that he sprayed wasp spray on Jacquneaux's face to stop the attack. Jacquneaux then left Credeur's house and went to the home of an acquaintance in Carencro. He threatened the acquaintance with a knife and stole his handgun.
reports that police arrested Jacquneaux soon after he stole the handgun. According to Gawker
, Sheriff's deputies said that he was "clearly under the influence of drugs." According to KATC.com
, a friend of the one of the victims said she believed that Jacquneaux used bath salts, but police were unable to confirm the claim because no blood tests were performed after Jacquneaux was arrested.
Jacquneaux was charged with "aggravated burglary, simple battery of the infirm, violation of probation, aggravated second degree battery and violation of protective orders."
The victim Credeur was hospitalized.