Ill never be the same, she said.
The man being depicted by the media as a face eater or a monster is not the man she knew, she said. He smoked marijuana often, though had recently said he wanted to quit, but he didnt use stronger recreational drugs and even refused to take over-the-counter medication for simple ailments like headaches, she said. He was sweet and well-mannered, she said.
Eugenes girlfriend has her own theory on what happened that day. She believes Eugene was drugged unknowingly. The only other explanation, she said, was supernatural that someone put a Vodou curse on him. The girlfriend, who unlike Eugene is not Haitian, said she has never believed in Vodou, until now.
I dont know how else to explain this, she said.
She and Eugene met in 2007. While in traffic on a Miami street, Eugene pulled up next to her car and motioned for her to roll down her window.
She did. I thought he was cute. I shouted out my number to him and he called me right then. We clicked immediately.
Their five year- relationship hit rocky points over the years, and they would separate for months at a time, then reunite again. She said their problems were mostly communication issues.
She said Eugene worked at a car wash and wanted to own his own business some day.
During their time together, she said, Eugene would sit on the bed or on the couch in the evenings with her to read from his Bible. He carried it with him just about everywhere he went, she said, and often cited verses to friends and family.
If someone was lost or didnt know God, he would tell them about him, she said. He was a believer of God.
She cries often, she said. Eugenes clothes and shoes are still in her closet.
Something happened out of the ordinary that day. I dont want him to be labeled the Miami Zombie, she said. He was a person. I dont want him to go down like that.
He was never violent around her, she said.
But according to police records, Eugene became violent at least once in his past and was arrested on battery charges. In 2004, he threatened his mother and smashed furniture during a domestic dispute, according to records from the North Miami Beach Police Department.
The police report says Eugene took a fighting stand, balled his hands into a fist and threatened one of the officers who responded.
Police had to use a Taser to subdue him.Thank God youre here, he would have killed me, Eugenes mother, Ruth Charles, told officers, the police report says. She told the officers that before they arrived, her son had told her, Ill put a gun to your head and kill you.
On Wednesday, Charles said that despite the incident, she and her son had a warm relationship.
Im his first love...hes a nice kid...he was not a delinquent, she told Miami Herald news partner CBS-4 at her Miami Gardens home.
Charles told the station she was speaking up for the first time to defend her dead son.
Everybody says that he was a zombie, but I know hes not a zombie; hes my son, she said.
She said the man who ate another human beings face was just not the son she knew.
I dont know what they injected in him to turn him into the person who did what he did, she said, making the motion of someone putting a syringe into the crook of her arm.
A friend of Eugenes since they were teenagers told The Herald on Wednesday that Eugene had been troubled in recent years.
Joe Aurelus said Eugene told him he wanted to stop smoking pot, and that friends were texting Eugene Bible verses.
I was just with him two weeks ago, he said. They were at a friends house watching a movie and Eugene had a Bible in his hand.
He was going through a lot with his family, Aurelus said, and jumping from job to job.
Rudy was battling the devil.
Miami Herald staff writers Elinor J. Brecher and Scott Hiaasen contributed to this report.