Chronically homeless and recently blinded, Ronald Poppo calmly told detectives about the sudden savage assault that cost him parts of his face.
A man in a green shirt came out of a car he had hitchhiked in, grousing about not being able to score on the beach. The man seemed friendly enough at first, Poppo said. The stranger went from being in a “glad mood” to singing the 1960s tune A Lover’s Concerto and saying “you are going to be my wife.” Then, Poppo said, he “turned vicious after a minute or two, and he started to rip me apart.”
“He attacked me. He just ripped me to ribbons. He chewed up my face. He plucked out my eyes. Basically, that’s all there is to say about it,” Poppo told Miami investigators.
In a recorded interview with Miami police obtained and first reported by Miami Herald news partner CBS4, Poppo is heard for the first time describing the May 26 assault by a crazed assailant who “must have had a bad day at the beach.” It was the attack that catapulted Poppo out of his anonymous life in the city’s shadows onto the front pages of newspapers around the world.
Poppo, a homeless alcoholic who lived in the Jungle Island parking garage, will now be best known for having been the victim of a cannibal. Gruesome photos of his face circulated on the Internet.
His recorded interview took place July 19 at Jackson Memorial Perdue Medical Center, a long-term-care facility in Cutler Bay. Poppo calmly explained that he had no address and was too old to work.