A Florida suspect was found chewing off his victim’s face when cops arrived on the scene, reports CBS News.
The gruesome incident took place Monday evening when Martin County police officers responded to a 911 call from a man who had reportedly been stabbed when he attempted to break up the fight between his neighbor and a 19-year-old man. When cops reached the scene of the crime, they found the suspect sitting atop another man in the driveway and chewing off his face. The sheriff said that the suspect was chewing the skin and flesh off of the man’s face with his teeth.
After unsuccessfully attempting to goad the man away from his victim, the police officers at the scene, along with a K-9, pounced on the suspect and used a stun gun to subdue him. The man was “making animal noises,” and “grunting and growling” as officers yanked him away. By the time the Florida suspect was removed from the body of his victim, he had already succumbed to his injuries and was consequently pronounced dead at the scene.
Later, when the cops inspected the house of the owner, they also found the dead body of his wife in the garage, who was likely beaten, slashed and attacked with multiple “weapons of opportunity,” according to the Miami Herald.
“There was an enormous amount of violence in that garage,” Sheriff William Snyder said.
The neighbor who placed the 911 call to report the violence also suffered substantial injuries from the stabbing. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery early on Tuesday morning. Authorities had not confirmed whether he is out of danger at the time of writing.
While the motive for the gory double homicide is not yet known, Sheriff Snyder announced in a news conference late Monday that the suspect and the deceased couple knew each other, but he refused to comment on the nature of the relationship.
Meanwhile, cops also said that they were attempting to locate a certain Ivy Stevens, 26, late Monday night, who they believe can answer a lot of troubling questions related to the case. She is known to be associated with the victims of the deadly crime.
Snyder also said that the Sheriff’s Office suspects the assailant might be high on flakka, a type of cheap, synthetic speed that has fueled hysteria over the past year after being linked to a series of bizarre incidents in Florida. As CBS News reports, Flakka is made from the chemical alpha-PVP, a synthetic version of the amphetamine-like stimulant cathinone. It is derived from the khat plants, which are found in abundance in Somalia and the Middle East.
Flakka is derived from the same chemical which is used to make “bath salts” and is mostly consumed for its psychoactive properties, which mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine but with disastrous consequences. According to Vice, it is mostly manufactured in Chinese labs and sold in bulk online under brand names like “Lunar Wave,” “Cloud Nine,” and “Scarface” before being sold by retailers in the United States for as cheap as $3 a pop.
Over the last year alone, Florida has been awash with bizarre incidents where the assailants have been known to be high on flakka, “bath salts,” or other similar synthetic drugs.
In 2012, Rudy Eugene, a 31-year-old Miami resident, gruesomely attacked and maimed a homeless man, Ronald Poppo, under the MacArthur Causeway in a case that elicited the attention of the international media because of the sheer grotesqueness of the crime. Eugene, who was reportedly high on “bath salts,” removed the homeless man’s pants before chewing most of the flesh off of his face. When cops arrived at the scene and attempted to calm Eugene down, he even “snarled” at them, rendering it almost impossible for the police officers to deal with him without the use of deadly force. Eugene, who was later dubbed as the “Miami Zombie,” was shot and killed by the police.
It is possible that the suspect who killed the couple late on Monday night was also high on flakka, and Sheriff Snyder believes that might very well turn out to be the case.
“It will be some time before we get any kind of toxicology report, but I would not be surprised, though, if we end up finding out that is the case,” he said of the Florida suspect.
(Update: Identities of the married couple and the suspect are now known. The 19-year-old suspect has been identified as Austin Harouff, while the woman who was killed in the garage has been identified by former North Miami Beach Mayor Jeffrey Mishcon as his daughter, 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon Stevens, and the husband has been identified as 59-year-old John Stevens, according to the Miami Herald. The police are now calling the incident a “completely unprovoked and random attack” which appears to have been fueled by the drug flakka. Ivy Stevens, who the police were looking for late on Monday night, has been identified as the daughter of the slain husband and step-daughter of the slain wife.)
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