A naked man was shot dead by police in Florida Tuesday night after allegedly assaulting a police officer and biting a portion of a teen’s face off. Police believe the man was on drugs that gave him “superhuman strength” at the time of the incident. Based on the police description, the man may have taken phencyclidine (PCP) or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (“bath salts”).
According to The Palm Beach Post, the incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. The man, who has not been identified, first attacked a 66-year-old retired New York police officer. Police are still investigating whether there may have been a reason for the initial assault. The retired officer was taken to the hospital with “serious injuries.” At some point after the attack on the officer, the man began fighting an 18-year-old on that same block and bit his face. The teen tried to defend himself with a box cutter, but luckily police arrived to distract him with a taser. When attempts to subdue the crazed man were unsuccessful, police resorted to gunfire. The man was shot three times and died at Delray Medical Center.
“We don’t know right now if he’s expired from the gunshots, or if he’s expired because of obviously he’s on some type of drugs that have made him act like this,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, according to the Post. “There’s no way to know if those are the shots that actually killed him, or if he’s died from what they called exited delirium. He’s obviously on some type of narcotics to make him act like this.”
There are two drugs that have been known to give people both delusions of superhuman strength and an appetite for human flesh: PCP and bath salts. PCP is a dissociative drug that places its users in a trance-like, “out of body” state. People on PCP may experience hallucinations, paranoia, and disordered thinking. Similarly, bath salts are a psychoactive drug that acts as a central nervous system stimulant that impacts the behavior of its users. People on bath salts may become aggressive, violent, and self-destructive. Though there’s no word yet on what drugs were in the man’s system, there is a strong possibility that if police were right about him being under the influence of narcotics, it could have been PCP or bath salts.
The man was 6-foot-3, 250 lbs. Police are still trying to figure out his identity so that they can notify his family.