A 19-year-old Florida State University student with no criminal record was found biting a dead man’s face in South Florida on Monday at the scene of a deadly stabbing, authorities said.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters that Austin Harrouff may have been on hallucinogenic drugs when he attacked Michelle Mishcon, 53, and John Stevens III, 59, at their Tequesta, Florida, home.
Late Monday, Martin County Sheriff’s deputies say, Harrouff, a 19-year-old Florida State University student, was eating dinner with his parents at a local sports bar when he apparently got angry about something and stormed out. According to the Miami Herald, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters today that Harrouff had been visiting his Tequesta hometown with some of his fraternity brothers from FSU.
But after Harrouff left, possibly angry at the restaurant’s slow service, police found him in the midst of a horrifying scene.
In what Snyder called a “completely unprovoked and random attack,” Harrouff approached a married couple — identified as Michelle Mishcon, 53, and her husband John Stevens III, 59 — who’d been sitting calmly in their garage with the door lifted open. Harrouff then allegedly stabbed the couple to death with what cops think was a switchblade. When a neighbor tried to intervene and called 911, Harrouff stabbed him too.
When police arrived, they found Harrouff “grunting and growling” and “making animal noises” over one of the bodies — while also tearing chunks out of the man’s face with his teeth.
Cops discharged their stun guns at Harrouff — multiple times — but were unable to pull him from the man. A police dog couldn’t stop Harrouff either. Eventually, it took three cops to pull him away. The neighbor, who survived the attack, reportedly underwent surgery today. The neighbor, is expected to survive.
“He’s recovering. He’s got multiple stable wounds in the left side of his head and in his back,” his father Steve Fisher said.
Harrouff was also taken to a hospital for treatment after the incident. Officials said he was in life-threatening condition and it’s unknown if he’ll survive.
But Harrouff’s online presence shows that, as recently as 2013, the college student appeared to have everything going for him.
Harrouff’s page on ncsasports.org, shows Harrouff had been taking advanced-placement classes at the high school and gunning for a football scholarship before graduating in 2015. According to his recruiting profile, Harrouff was 6 feet tall, weighed 200 pounds, and could bench-press 365 pounds as a high-school student.
This week’s crime will forever be mentioned in the same breath as that of Miami man Randy Eugene, who was famously caught in 2012 eating the face of a homeless man in the shadow of the MacArthur Causeway.
Many have speculated online about synthetic drugs playing a role in both cases, but there’s little evidence. Toxicology reports found only marijuana in Eugene’s system in 2012, though medical experts said at the time that it was next to impossible that pot alone had provoked that attack.
Sheriff William Snyder said. Snyder told reporters that a motive is not yet known, but has not ruled out the influence of a drug such as flakka. Authorities are running tests for multiple substances, Snyder said.
“We will be doing sampling of his blood to see if there was flakka or bath salts, which are known to cause what we call the excited delirium, and he did have some indications that we might be working with that,” Snyder said.
Snyder added the couple did not know Harrouff and that the Florida State University student gave a false name when first arrested, slowing the investigation.
“John and Michelle were the nicest people,” neighbor Amy Lourie said. She said they would sit in the garage with the door open while watching television and wave and talk to passersby while their Labrador retriever played in the yard. She said they would drive around the neighborhood in their golf cart with the dog sitting with them.