A Florida man thought to be on either flakka or bath salts fatally stabbed a couple, then bit off part of the husbandâ€™s face. He also wounded a would-be rescuer.
19-year-old Austin Harrouff required three deputies and a police dog to pull him off of the deceased husband in the driveway of the couple’s home Monday night.
The Florida State University student was making grunting, growling â€œanimal-like noisesâ€ at the scene and later gave authorities a false name, according to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. Snyder declined to speculate ahead of the test results, but said the gruesome murder could possibly be linked to synthetic drugs.
â€œWe know in our business that people on flakka or bath salts will do this type of behavior where they attack their victim and do the biting and remove pieces of flesh in the biting,â€ he said at a press conference.
The victims, 59-year-old John Stevens III and his wife, 53-year-old Michelle Mishcon had a neighbor who’d tried to stop the killing and dialed 911. That neighbor was stabbed repeatedly, hospitalized, and expected to survive after â€œsubstantial trauma.â€
Mr. Harrouff didn’t know the couple before the attack, which Snyder called “completely unprovoked and random”.
Investigators say he used a switchblade knife and several “weapons of opportunity” in the deceased couple’s garage.
“There was an enormous amount of violence in that garage,” he said. Deputies found the woman’s body in the garage. It’s believed that Mr. Stevens fought hard for his life before being killed and having his face decimated by the crazed killer.
45 minutes before the attack, Harrouff, who was in town with a few of his FSU fraternity brothers, angrily left the dinner he was having with his parents. His parents called cops after he became unbelievably angry over what they believed to just be slow service.
The first arriving deputy used her stun gun on Harrouff to try to and get him off of Stevens’ blood-soaked body. It didn’t affect him one iota. Nor did bites from a police K-9 who came on-scene when two more deputies arrived.
“The suspect in this case was abnormally strong,” Snyder said.
Hospital staff later sedated the assailant, and blood tests showed he hadn’t taken meth, cocaine, heroin or any other common drugs. Tests for flakka and bath salts, which are part of a class of drugs referred to as “new psychoactive substances,” are still awaiting results and completion.