Face-eating suspect in 'grave condition' following possible flakka-fueled attack
Flakka is a designer drug with an unpredictable high that "ravaged" South Florida in 2015.
The accused killer remains in grave condition at the hospital. We are learning the 19-year-old college student's father, a Jupiter area dentist, lived a mere block from the victims.
Investigators suspect he was high on something when he attacked.
Austin Harrouff graduated in 2015 from Suncoast High, as a star athlete.
Investigators say he was was abnormally strong during the attack and was making animal like noises including grunting and growling.
A South Florida Epidemiologist says flakka may be to blame. But there are also other possible contributors.
It looked like Austin Harouff had it all.
An Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity member and FSU Sophomore studying exercise science.
So what would push him to go on a unexplained violent rage killing two and hurting another-going as far as biting the victim's face?
"Flakka is a powerful stimulant drug that is most addictive. It has been associated with a serious condition called excited delirium," said Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University. "They have Adrenalin like strength requiring four to five law enforcement officers to just restrain them."
Investigators say it took four deputies and a K9 to pull Harrouff off the victim.
Hall, who has not treated Harouff, believes since the teen did not have an elevated body temperature this could be a version of Flakka or another type of synthetic drug that we have not seen before.
“In the past few weeks we have had reports of excited delirium cases in the southeast Florida area which could be associated with other stimulants and particularly with another synthetic cathinone often known as the drug called molly,” said Hall.
In an attempt to capture a football scholarship, Austin posted a video on Huddle.com showing his time as a defensive tackle and wrestler at Suncoast Community high where he was taking advanced placement classes.
He described himself as 6 feet tall, 200 pounds with the ability to press over 200 pounds.
"This could also just be a serious psychotic reaction. The famous causeway cannibal case in 2012 Miami with a similar behavior actually turned out marijuana was the only drug detected not even synthetic marijuana," said Hall.
The Martin County Sheriff said there were no drugs present in the initial drug screening test, but that test does not screen for flakka or bath salts. It will take several weeks before a formal laboratory analysis is wrapped up.
The Sheriff said his health was declining possibly due to ingesting drugs. He said Harrouff was last listed in 'grave' condition.
His fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi, released a statement that partly read, “The Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity and its members learned this morning of the horrendous attack on two individuals at their home in Jupiter, Florida that occurred late Monday evening more than 400 miles from the Florida State University campus; we will cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities and with any legal investigation if asked. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.”
I am enrolled in the IB program at Suncoast Community High School. According to Newsweek, Suncoast was #9 of 2013's America's best high schools.It is a rigorous academic program and I have maintained a 3.35 GPA. I am seeking to attend a pre-med program in college. I would love to play football in college while attaining this goal.
I joined the football team in my freshman year. I mainly played as a defensive tackler. This coming year, i will be playing on both the defensive and offensive line. I have learned to discipline myself on and off the field. I have conditioned my body in a short period of time to be one of the strongest on the team. I paused pressed 365 Ibs by my junior year. Off season, I joined the wrestling team in my sophomore year and I was the most improved player by my junior year. I will be the captain in my senior year. I placed third in the district. I also joined the weightlifting team this past year and made second in the district. I also have a more current hudl video at http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1081726/highlights/66794375
I would be a great asset to your football team. I love the competitiveness of the game and I have the drive to improve. Thank you for considering me