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