Ronald Poppo is currently in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital after having large portions of his face chewed off by Rudy Eugene on Saturday near the MacArthur Causeway. However, it's not Poppo's first trip to Jackson Memorial Hospital after receiving near-fatal injuries in downtown Miami. Poppo was shot at the Bayfront Park band shell and taken to the hospital back in 1976, according to court records.
Poppo, described by police as homeless, also had a lengthy criminal record, and once had charges dismissed after pleading insanity.
Update: We've tracked down a high school photo of Poppo. Long before he was homeless in Miami, he was a decorated student at Stuyvesant High, one of New York's most prestigious high schools.
The photo above comes from a Riptide reader; it comes from the 1964 yearbook from Stuyvesant High, when Poppo would have been 18 years old. He earned at Bronze Scholarship Certificate, was in Latin Club and worked in the Guidance Office.
Considering that Stuyvesant has long been one of NYC's best schools, focused on math and science, it's an impressive list of achievements. How did Poppo go from promising high schooler to homeless in Miami in just over a decade? For now, it's a mystery.
Our earlier post: According to a lien filed by Dade County in 1976, Poppo was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital on January 14. Poppo was shot at the Bayfront Park bandshell by an unidentified "John Doe." His injuries were serious enough that Poppo spent five days in the hospital, and his ultimate hospital bill came to $1,406.05.
At the time Poppo was also homeless and listed his address as the Salvation Army at 905 W Flagler Street.
Poppo, 65, also has a long list of criminal charges that date back in Miami-Dade as far as 1978.
Back in that year he was charged with criminal mischief, but was eventually acquitted on grounds of insanity. Poppo did not plead insanity in any criminal case since then.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Poppo has racked up several charges in the 25 years since, including several counts of drinking in public, burglary, assault, and trespassing. His most recent run-in with the law came in November of 2005. He was convicted of drinking alcohol in public and resisting arrest with violence.
More on Rudy Eugene, AKA the Miami Zombie:
- Miami Zombie Witness Called Police 17 Minutes Before Cops Shot And Killed Rudy Eugene
- Rudy Eugene to Mother In 2004: "I'll Put a Gun to Your Head and Kill You"
- Causeway Cannibal Rudy Eugene Has North Miami Beach In "State of Shock"
- Rudy Eugene Identified As Miami Zombie, Plus NSFW Photo of Attack's Aftermath
- Naked Man Shot by Miami Police After Eating Other Man's Face