(CBS/AP) MIAMI - South Florida woman Yovonka Bryant came forward on Wednesday to speak about her four-month long relationship with accused Florida cannibal Rudy Eugene. She says he gave no indication that he was capable of the face-chewing attack that left homeless victim Ronald Poppo missing about 75 percent of his face.
Bryant said during a news conference in Miami that there were no warning signs that anything was wrong with Eugene.
“I felt safe with Rudy,” she said. “He was happy, in a good mood.”
Bryant said she and Eugene often read the Bible and Quran together and watched a religious television program every morning. She said Eugene never showed any signs of violence since they started dating in March.
Police questioned Bryant after the May 26 face-chewing attack but Bryant is not under investigation. She described Eugene as a Christian who wanted to know more about the Muslim faith.
“He would never leave without it, his Bible, and his Quran was always by his side,” Bryant said. “He was just figuring out the Quran. He just really picked up the Quran and was trying to actually get into it as he was into the Bible.”
Police released few details about what led Eugene, 31, to attack 65-year-old Poppo on a sidewalk along Miami’s MacArthur Causeway. A police officer shot and killed Eugene. Poppo remains hospitalized.
She said she thought someone may have slipped Eugene a drug prior to the attack but Bryant wouldn’t elaborate on why she thought that. Eugene’s autopsy results are pending.
Meanwhile, court records show Eugene had several arrests on marijuana-related charges. Eugene’s brother said Eugene sometimes smoked marijuana but didn’t drink much or use hard drugs. Bryant said she never saw Eugene drink and only once saw him smoke marijuana at a party.
Bryant, a single mother of three, hired celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to arrange a news conference “because she thinks it is important that the public know the truth about Rudy Eugene and her relationship with him,” Allred said.