Crazy case of the “Causeway Cannibal”

They’re calling him the “Causeway Cannibal” because cops encountered him naked, biting chunks out of another naked, apparently-unconscious, man’s face on the MacArthur Causeway in the Miami, FL area over the Memorial Day weekend.  If you live in that area, don’t worry — he’s dead.  When the cops ordered him to stop biting the victim, C.C. reportedly just looked up with a blood-covered face, growled at the cops, and took another bite, at which point shot number one was fired.  It reportedly took shot number two to actually kill C.C.  The victim apparently was still alive at that time, but his condition at this hour is unknown.  I write about a lot of cases here in which people who did horrendous things claim to have been crazy in attempts to escape responsibility, and as you know, I’m highly skeptical of those claims.  C.C., though, seems like one who was truly crazy at the time of the crime, but — surprise, surprise — I’ll bet even he was still 100% responsible for his behavior.  Why?  Because a voluntarily-intoxicated defendant remains 100% responsible for his criminal acts, and I agree with Miami cop Armando Aguilar, interviewed by Miami’s CBS4, who suspects that C.C. was high on a relatively-new but increasingly-available LSD-like drug, marketed on the street as “bath salts” (among other names).  C.C.’s behavior looks less like “organic” psychosis and more like substance-induced psychosis (or at least a combination of the two) to me.  Cops and EMS personnel across the country have been increasingly dealing with people high on snorted “bath salts” whose behavior is often profoundly psychotic (e.g. cannibalism, not to mention in the nude on a public bridge) and who seem to possess exaggerated physical energy and strength (e.g. the kind that takes two gunshots to put down).  Obviously, if you’re a young (or old) person who’s ever offered an “opportunity” to experiment with this stuff, I strongly caution you against it, whether it played a role in this C.C. case or not.  And in terms of deterring the proliferation of it, I also like another one of Aguilar’s suggestions — that when we catch dealers who sold the stuff to people who end up dying or killing others, we charge those dealers with “felony murder” (a death incidental to the commission of another felony), thereby subjecting them to the same punishments that accompany first-degree murder!

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