What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.
 

Feb. 24 2010 - 1:21 pm | 6,682 views | 1 recommendation | 8 comments

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

Michael, the man beaten down by Thomas Bruso aka “Epic Beard Man” on an AC Transit bus in Oakland, Ca. last week, recently spoke out in an interview with San Francisco’s Wild 94.9 radio station.

What’s interesting about Michael’s interview is that we get to see him in a different light. The delicate relationship between content and context is always complicated in viral videos like the AC Transit Brawl. But Michael approaches this interview in a smart way. His behavior is the polar opposite of what we saw in the AC Transit video. His demeanor is calm, collected. Some will say he’s doing this to play the victim, sway public opinion in his direction — but it’s hard to say given what little information we know about Michael. In contrast, Thomas Bruso has been more than eager to tell and retell his side of the story.

Michael starts the interview by apologizing to AC Transit for the altercation. He then admits that he was intoxicated at the time of his argument and subsequent fight with Bruso. Michael then cites that Bruso is a veteran and he would like to apologize for disrespecting him.

“I want to apologize to all the veterans,” Michael says. “It wasn’t an attack on the veterans. It was an attack on a remark that a person made.” This is also when we learn that Michael is 50 years old. He reveals this detail, then segues into saying that, despite his characterization on the Internet as a young, ‘wannabe thug,” he is knowledgeable about black history and well aware of the loaded content in Bruso’s remark: “How much you charge me for a spit shine?”

“I want to point out that I am not a thug, or a wannabe gangster, or nothing like that,” Michael says. “I’m a respectable citizen, and a law-abiding citizen.” He ends the interview by saying that he’s willing to let “bygones be bygones.”

As for an update on Bruso, The Oakland Tribune reported that following the fight he was taken to John George Psychiatric Pavilion for evaluation.


Comments

Active Conversation
One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 8 Total Comments
Post your comment »
 
  1. collapse expand

    Guess you’re eatin’ some crow now, aren’t you sonny?

    The white “hero” of your previous story was slinging racist trash, the “thug” as you called him is 50 years old, and you are full of sheeyit on your juvenile face.

    • collapse expand

      Where in my initial post did I call Bruso a hero? Did you even read that post? This line from it sums up my take on the issue: “In general, the argument plays out like a pissing match between two shit talkers.” Neither men are heroes. And given Michael’s post-fight interview (video above), and his admission that he was drunk, it’s even more clear now that both men were feeding off of each other’s anger in a hostile situation.

      Re: Thug aka Michael… You make a valid point: I was incorrect, he’s not young.

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

    I don’t think this guy is lying about his criminal history. I think Tom was confused. If you follow the news there was a man stabbing random people on Ac buses but his name was Bobby Brown and he had already been arrested. Remember that he is a vet and must have had some trauma, he is the same man that was tasered at an A’s game, by police for being drunken and belligerent. At the same time I think he didn’t mean anything racist by his comments and it was truly a misunderstanding. I use to ride on AC transit in Oakland, and witnessed many a strange incidents and rude behavior, including a woman refusing to move to let an old lady with a walker by, causing a big fuss, yelling and screaming at the lady and calling her a bitch. She should’ve gotten handled until she needed the amberlamps.

    • collapse expand

      It sounds like AC Transit is always a bizarre, perhaps dangerous, ride. Given that we don’t know a great deal about either of these men’s lives, it would be fair to give each the benefit of the doubt. In the initial video, both men appeared to have extremely short tempers, which did nothing to help diffuse the situation. Thanks for your comments Rheanna.

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

    Oh so the fuck what. Michael can never win in this one because Thomas clearly explained that he thought he had heard Michael offer this, and he started out with the question “How much are you charging?” without giving any context at all, so he obviously COULDN’T have been purposely starting it. Michael was just being a dumb black human, whether he is a “gangsta” or not, he clearly is not a normal, decent human being since he can’t form a proper sentence to explain how he isn’t a “gangsta”. And also because he said both “I’m pressing charges” and “I’m going to beat his ass,” when clearly neither one is possible and one of them yet again exemplifies his LACK of being decent, normal, or capable of sentences… not that Tom is either, however, he doesn’t show this in the bus video.

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook
 

My T/S Activity Feed

 
     

    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.

    My writing appears in Spin, Good, XLR8R, Next American City, RaceWire, and Swindle, among other print and online publications. I have reported on the decline of sampling in hip-hop; interviewed artists and musicians who survived Cambodia’s killing fields; investigated the struggles of U.S. military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and shadowed graffiti writers, coaxing candid confessions about their obsession with illegal art.

    If you have story ideas or tips, please email me at mr.newton@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at newtonmatthew. And I've recently launched a companion site to my blog here at True/Slant. You can check it out here.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 96
    Contributor Since: May 2009
    Location:Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    What I'm Up To

    • annals_purple_eye

       
    • cpluv_ts_promo

       
    • true-slant_facebook

       
    • true-slant_twitter

       
    .<
    • +O
    • +O
    • +O
    • +O
    >.