MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. – A college student found biting off the face of a victim after a double homicide in Florida had exhibited strange behavior in the days before the attack and believed he had superpowers, his mother said.
Police said Austin Harrouff, 19, attacked two people inside their Florida home Monday night, stabbing both of them to death. A neighbor who tried to break up the fight was also hurt, according to the Martin County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department.
A deputy who arrived to investigate found Harrouff biting off the face of one of the victims. Harrouff then fought with officers who tried to restrain him.
Harrouff, a former high school football player and wrestler, was “abnormally strong,” according to Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. It took several deputies and a dog to subdue him.
Police identified the victims as Michelle Mishcon, 53, and John Stevens III, 59.
Harrouff is a Florida State University student who lived about three miles away from the victims’ home. He had been eating with his family at a restaurant when he stormed off on the night of the attack. His mother called police and some of his fraternity brothers because they were worried about him.
Harrouff had been acting strangely for about a week and claimed he had “superpowers” and was “here to protect people,” according to a report obtained by WPTV that cited his mother.
Harrouff, who was hospitalized after the attack, couldn’t provide any substantive details to investigators. He also gave officers a false name during his arrest.
According to Snyder, Harrouff was making “animal-like sounds” and was “somewhat incoherent.” He wouldn’t speculate on whether Harrouff was high on drugs.
“I’m not going to speculate, except to say that we know in our business that people on Flakka or bath salts will do this type of behavior, where they attack the victim and do the biting and actually remove pieces of flesh in the bites,” Snyder said.
WPTV reported that Harrouff posted several rambling videos on YouTube in recent months.