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Feb. 21 2010 - 2:51 pm | 13,003 views | 0 recommendations | 17 comments

67-year-old man beats down young thug on public bus

Update: Man beaten by Thomas Bruso aka ‘Epic Beard Man’ speaks out.

Given the lack of context in this video, it’s difficult to understand how exactly this altercation began. When the video starts, amidst a verbal argument, the 67-year-old man appears to be baiting the young black man with racially charged comments, namely “How much you charge me for a spit shine?” Prior to that, however, the young black man was spouting a certain level of anger toward the 67-year-old man as well. In general, the argument plays out like a pissing match between two shit talkers. The whole time, the passengers in the bus range from concerned, trying to diffuse the situation, to others encouraging violence. It’s like a microcosm of America’s propensity for violence versus its capacity for peace. Of course, in the end, violence prevails. Watch the video and come to your own conclusion on just what the hell takes place.

Update: It turns out there’s far more to this story than I originally understood — a fact I have learned thanks not only to True/Slant’s valiant commentors, but the eternal (and questionable) wisdom of the Interwebs. The 67-year-old man in this video is a Vietnam Veteran from Chicago, IL. named Thomas Bruso (aka Tom Slick aka Vietnam Tom) also commonly referred to as (for whatever reason) Epic Beard Man. From what I can tell, he currently lives in Oakland, Ca. and is a known character in that city. Included below are several videos that help further piece together this current story as well as Bruso’s previous public exploits caught on film (and this photograph). And, of course, there’s a Facebook fan page for Bruso.

The more I read about this incident, the more conflicting reports I come across. As I gather more credible information, I’ll add to this post, or write a followup.

Interview with Thomas Bruso after his public transit altercation:

Interview with Lyanna Washington, women who filmed the bus incident:

According to some accounts, Washington is said to have been urging the fight on, screaming racial comments.

Thomas Bruso being tased at an Oakland A’s game:

Thanks to @DutchieMotto412 for the original link.

67 Year Old Man Beats Down Young Wanna Be Thug (Respect Your Elders)


8 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 17 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    Ha ha ha.

    My favorite part was the mouthy gal (who obviously had a dog in this race) when she shouted, “say it again, pinky” and “beat his white ass.”

    Then, she starts talking about “pressing charges!” Rich!

  2. collapse expand

    It’s simple. All you have to ask is: Who threw the first punch? Shit talk is shit talk. Swingin’ is swingin’. Sometimes an old fashioned ass-whoopin’ is the best cure for a big mouth. The boy threw the first punch and in turn got his ass kicked by an old man (albeit a mouthy old man in pretty good condition). The worst thing the oldster did was agitate a fight with a man much smaller than him. It’s easy to get balls when you have the other guy by 30 pounds or more.
    As far as America’s propensity for violence, some perspective is needed here. This is small potatoes compared to the late 60s and early 70s where whole sections of major American cities burned to the ground.

  3. collapse expand

    Epic Beard Man is a legendary Vietnam veteran, known far and wide for being crazy. Here is a video of him being tazed by the police at a baseball game.


  4. collapse expand

    Yes it is a microcosm of American violence..is that all you have to say?? Nothing more to add? Might as well post it on Youtube with that sort of commentary.

    The video itself is depressing to me;
    A. They were both at fault and ready to fight
    B. The person taking the video is a loser
    C. I don’t want to ride on that bus route…EVER

    I wish I wouldn’t have bitten on this one for all the reasons listed above.

  5. collapse expand

    Epic Beard Man Explains It All

    very moving video, here is his side of the story


  6. collapse expand

    I would not describe that man as a “young thug”. He maintained for a while and the old guy kept pushing. And the old guy was using “fighting words” in order to start something.

  7. collapse expand

    I’m struggling to figure out what it is about this that’s supposed to be interesting.

  8. collapse expand

    Why did you jump to the conclusion that the black guy is a “thug?” You didn’t call the white guy what he has clearly demonstrated himself to be, “a violent mentally ill man.”

    I’m a 52-yr old white guy but as I watched that video it was clear to me from the start that the old guy was agitating for a fight and knew just how far to go without appearing to be an instigator. This is the guy’s M.O. He goes around all day agitating. Most people see him for what he is and steer clear. But once in awhile he has a good day and gets in a few punches.

    The fact that you so readily attached a stereotypical epithet to the black guy and not the white guy is such a naked display of bigotry I’m surprised more readers haven’t called you out on it. It’s no different than the kind of things being said on that bus.

    • collapse expand

      I wouldn’t say I jumped to the conclusion. But you raise an interesting point. The young black man in the video is posturing like he’s hard, acting and talking tough. If you look at the term “thug” as a strictly racial stereotype, then maybe you’ve successfully called out my “naked bigotry.” But terms like these are loose cultural descriptors. If the young man on the bus had been a white man dressed in a long sleeve flannel shirt buttoned up to the neck, wearing a pair of sunglasses and talking tough would I have chosen “thug” as a descriptor? Maybe. Or perhaps I would have called him a “punk.”

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  9. collapse expand

    First of all there is a thing called freedom of speech. And the law upholds this right. So if the young man had a problem with what the old man was saying he should’ve notified someone of authority. But that’s the problem with racism as an issue. Everyone has to watch their mouth. There is no freedom in that. So unbiased decisions from person to person is the only solution. Not one person threatening another over what might be “a racist comment”.Or what is for sure “a racist comment”. I won’t be oppressed, judged, or analyzed by anyone using “racism” as a crutch. I myself dislike everyone equally. I’m not much of a people person and i don’t have to tell you why. That is my right just as it is the right of the old man on the bus who else wants to push their oppinion?

  10. collapse expand

    the young man hit the older guy first and i think he got what he deserved. whos bad now!

  11. collapse expand

    The fact remains as a whole; Human life has lost it’s value. Here we are in the year 2010 evolved so far in life and cant seem to find the simplest answer to something as twisted violence against others & world peace. I am 38 and a female on this planet who thru my time here has seen more then i care to say i have experienced personally. I have watched many events in my life that have made me realize simply this.. No one person is any better then the other, different yes better no. No one has the right to degrade or judge another for the circumstances that one has in their life. When we all can grow up and learn that we all need each other and this planet and each other in the end our all we are ever gonna have. The world will become a better place. Human Life is valuable Every human life..

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    About Me

    I am a writer, editor, and blogger who lives and works in the once-decaying heart of America's Rust Belt (i.e. Pittsburgh, PA). My work focuses on subculture, crime, mental health, race, class, and creativity.

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