So by now I’m sure everyone has seen the infamous Oakland bus beatdown caught on tape recently. I ran this story several days ago, and I’ve probably watched the video at least 50 times. I’ve watched it over and over because, well, there’s something funny about seeing a 67yr old white guy who looks like “Papa Smurf” catch wreck at the expense of the reputation of of a young brotha on a bus! And doing it so well so as to produce the line of the week, “Bring the Ambalamps.” Well, the Heavy Weight Bus Boxing Champion of the World has been identified as Thomas Bruso, and he has a lot to say:
Well, his accounts of the incident or what lead up to it seems to be a bit different from that of Iyanna Washington who caught the fracas with a small camera. According to an interview with CBS (and that of other witness accounts), “Epic Beard Man” as he is now called, approached “the brother” asking for a shoe shine. If that is true, I could understand how that could be taken as an insult by a young black male, or anybody black for that matter. However, I’m still of the opinion that dude took the wrong route by projecting his inner thug; especially if he was on parole. Check out what happened when they got off the bus:
One thing for sure, is that he has mental illness issues because from what I read, nobody was arrested. So yeah, maybe much of that was crazy talk. But what I do know, is that he has had several brushes with the law. Ironically, prior to this incident, he was caught on tape last August being arrested and tasered by police at an Oakland A’s baseball game [watch it here].
At an Aug. 3, 2009, A’s ballgame, Oakland police officers used a stun gun on Bruso because he refused repeated requests to leave the ballpark. He hadn’t been drinking but had brought alcohol into the stadium, police spokesman Jeff Thomason said at the time. When Bruso refused to leave, Coliseum security asked Oakland police officers working the game to eject him. Three officers verbally tried several times to get Bruso to leave, but he refused.
The situation quickly escalated after Bruso made a rude gesture at one of the two officers. They then placed a handcuff on Bruso’s left wrist. A third officer arrived with a Taser, stunning the man in the left shoulder blade while another officer was placing the other cuff on Bruso’s right wrist. The third officer applied the Taser on Bruso again, this time near the middle of his back, which caused Bruso to fall forward into an aisle. He was charged with resisting arrest and taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. (Source) Mental illness is no laughing matter; but I’d be damned if it wasn’t funny seeing him beat the breaks off of that dude on the bus. It’s funny because obviously, that was not the outcome that was expected, most notably by the brotha who escalated that confrontation. But hey, chalk Tom Ruso up as just another one of those crazy Vietnam Veterans if you want. The fact that he used the opportunity to send a message to Barack Obama proves that though he has “issues”, he’s not that crazy. And as Don King would say, “Only in America.”