Thomas Bruso; Epic beard man not a Vietnam vet

| December 2, 2012

You may remember this video of a veteran defending himself on a bus;

He was known as “Epic Beard Guy”. But his real name is Thomas Bruso and in interviews he told reporters that he was a Vietnam veteran;

Thomas Bruso also told KRON that he did 14 years in prison himself when he got out of Vietnan.

“When I got out of Vietman I was crazy and I was selling drugs and pimping and stuff,” Bruso said.

The video;

Of course, I don’t think 3 months in service during the Vietnam War qualifies him as a Vietnam veteran. Here’s his FOIA, courtesy of Scotty;

It’s good that he beat that little punk’s ass, but that whole crazy vet thing is beyond the pale. He claims he has a license for his gun, but I don’t think someone who spent 14 years in prison would be allowed to own a gun, either.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (37)

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  1. UnicornDick says:

    That guy is batshit crazy.

  2. Craig M. says:

    Another American icon bites the dust. Very disappointing

  3. Tman says:

    Hey, at least he was a Vietnam ERA vet, lol.

  4. bman says:

    Still like him more than John Kerry.

  5. Just an Old Dog says:

    I don’t know if it was my email that did it, but I turned his info in to POWN a few weeks back. Like everyone else I was amazed when I saw this old guy whupping up on some guy on the bus. As I watched follow up videos and read stories on the Guy the layers of bullshit started to fall away. In one of the following videos he claimed the guy he beat up was a convicted murderer and a wanted felon, who pulled a knife on him. Total fabrication.
    Looking into the incident, he actually was baiting the man he beat up. The video doesn’t show it but When Micheal (the guy he got beat up) got on the bus Bruso made a loud comment about “getting a brother” to spitshine his shoes.
    Not a very polite thing to say in the presence of an African American. Its like saying “getting a chinese to do my laundry”. Thomas, being a bit pissed off ( and he admitted he had been drinking) said in passing “why does it have to be a Brother to spitshine your shoes?” and then went and set in the back of the bus. Bruso, than got up, followed Thomas to the back and then proceeded to ask him “How much do you charge for a spitshine”. Thomas of course was really pissed off by now. Bruso was just being an asshole and race baiting, and unfortunately Thomas took the bait and let Bruso agitate him to the point of taking a poke at him.
    Bruso is a nut case who has even alienated his family by refusing to take his meds, using drugs and alcohol, and conning them and other people out of money. His Mother actually did die, and people took up a collection to get him home. He never made the funeral, he ended up spending his time and money at a strip club on the way. A few follow up stories have been done on him. He was living in a nice public housing unit (on our dime of course) but he got evicted for doing drugs, stealing other resident’s property and sexually harrassing women there. Of course he was featured in another you tube video after that whining that he was now a “homeless veteran” He’s a piece of dog shit.

    • Jude says:

      You’re not too bright. “Thomas” IS Bruso, the man’s name is Thomas Bruso. The black man’s name is Michael Lovette. Got it now genius?

      Who told you that Bruso followed Lovette to the back of the bus, or that he said “I’m getting ‘A’ brother to shine my shoes”? That is certainly not in the video and I haven’t read about that anywhere? I’ve read several articles regarding this incident.

      I do actually agree though that Bruso was being loud and rude and wasn’t completely innocent in the incident, and he is a compulsive liar, the man is menatlly ill

  6. Tommy says:

    This was one of the follow-up stories from about a year ago.

    “Of course he was featured in another you tube video after that whining that he was now a “homeless veteran.”

  7. NR Pax says:

    He may be a nut case but that well-deserved ass beating still brings a smile to my face.

  8. streetsweeper says:

    Unless it was a setup from the start Pax, then the ass beating turns to something else, right? Just saying b-)

  9. Just an Old Dog says:

    Just a comment on the “well deserved ass beating”. The you tube video didn’t show the events leading up to the physical fight. Micheal ( I kept calling him Thomas in my earlier post) used poor judgement in not realizing that Bruso was a nut case and simply telling him flake off. Bruso basically needled Micheal with thinly veiled racist insults until Micheal blew up at him. Unfortunately all the video shows is the tail end of the conversation, then Micheal, out of anger, approaching and hitting Bruso in the chest. Bruso, now justified to throw punches got up and did so. Lets not forget that Thomas was intoxicated, 6 inches shorter and 50-60 pounds lighter than Bruso.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    I am new to this story so I have no emotional investment in it. The hero did bait the guy he beat up and was himself the target of a police stun gun after he refused orders to leave Oakland stadium following an As game in 2009. He self reports that he did 14 years in prison. He probably did 14 years in a rubber room. Here is a video of an interview with this lunatic. And when I say lunatic, I’m talking on all fours, baying at the moon type of nut. The video comes with a language warning. He likes the F and MF bombs.

    • Jude says:

      There’s no evidence in the video that he baited him. Loud and rude is about all he’s guilty of, and he DID get up and walk away. He’s mentally ill and a compulsive liar but he didn’t spend 14 years in prison OR a mental hospital

  11. thebesig says:

    Here’s a possible Facebook page on Thomas A. Bruso:

  12. Just an Old Dog says:

    Not likely his facebook page. There have been a ton of people putting up internet stuff posing as him or trying to make him out to be a hero. There was even a movie (pretty sure it went straight to the Big Lots 99 cent DVD collection) called “Bad Ass” starring Danny Trejo. Hollywood definately was looking at cashing in on his story. I think they had about a 5 minute talk with him and figured they really didn’t need to or want to follow his bullshit story so they went ahead and made a movie anyway. The only thing the Movie had in common was a fight on the bus ( Trejo, a Hispanic, beat up two racist skinheads) and it went viral on you tube. The rest of the story is nothijg like the real Bruso, The guy is a real combat veteran, and has a job.

  13. Cajun says:

    It’s sad, but now, any older baby boomers that claim to be Vietnam vets draw my instant suspicion.

  14. thebesig says:

    @ “Just an Old Dog,” That’s why I said, “a possible on,” vice “by,” above. I noticed the same things that you pointed out, to include clone sites and idolizing sites, but didn’t know of the movie. That does sound like he served as a “story” idea for a movie. 😀

    @ Cajun, that suspicion is applicable to members of all living generations that was involved with a war.

  15. Yat Yas 1833 says:

    And the hits just keep on coming!

  16. Cajun says:

    @14 And roger. meanwhile all real veterans from wars past that I knew growing up lived stoically silent through the decay of time and the rot of modern society. One, in particular hiding a CIB and BSM w/V along with Japanese currency until my parents and sister found them while cleaning out his house after he died.

  17. Just Plain Jason says:

    The best thing to come out of the situation the hipster Amber Lamps…

  18. Keldon says:

    I liked this guy, but from his whole demeanor and persona, should we be surprised he ain’t the real deal?
    As far as the whole “homeless veteran” bullshit, there are more ‘homeless veterans’ out there than veterans. Just about every homeless man I see in DC claims to be a veteran.
    A general rule of thumb is that the louder and mor aggressive a Vietnam vet is, the more likely he’s not a vet

  19. thrawn says:

    You guys are like… years late to this. He’s severely mentally ill. Don’t jump down his throat, please.

  20. fm2176 says:

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. As for instigating the fight, the girl behind the camera can be heard multiple times prodding the guy to confront Bruso. She made an apology video attempting to explain her actions, IIRC.

  21. Just an Old Dog says:

    @20. No doubt he has issues. There are two points to bring up on this, Number one, he didn’t get these issues from his 3 months of getting kicked out of the Army. He’s a con artist who attempts to gain sympathy and financial contributions based on claims of being a combat veteran. He has appeared on videos waving hundred dollar bills around, probably given in part to him because of his fake vet stories. This money could have been to actual veterans charities to assist real Veterans in need.
    Point number 2. This Man’s “issues” are his excuse to or a cover for him to pick fights with citizens, confront peace officers, use drugs, steal, sexually harass women, be loudly profane in public and violate the rules in public housing that we pay for. How much of this do you think is because he really doesn’t know right from wrong and how much of it is because he knows no matter what he does the worst that will happen to him is they will put him under mental observation for 48 hours?
    I agree we are late,,, because he spent two years bilking people with his bullshit until he was outed as a phony.

  22. Kato811 says:

    Hey every one go to youtube seems some people dont belive this turd is not a nam vet go leave them some love there

  23. Charles says:

    I would like to know how this information was obtained? I would like to do so myself.

  24. NHSparky says:

    Um, did you see that screencap above? That’s called a copy of an FOIA request. You can Google FOIA and learn how to submit a request online.

  25. Green Thumb says:



  26. @27, You need to look at going back to the fourth grade and learning how to write a coherent sentence.

  27. MSGRetired says:

    Again an honorable deed turned to shit in neck breaking speed.

  28. Instinct says:

    I ran into that guy a few times when I lived in Alameda. He is basically an asshole with a bad attitude.

  29. Green Thumb says:

    Send this dude to speak with Commander Phil Monkress at All Points Logistics.

  30. SJ says:

    Epic beard? Has to be TSO!

  31. jim says:

    The bearded guy taught his attacker an important lesson, careful who you under estimate. Great life lesson, one all people should take to heart. Chicago at its present crime rate. Could use one of these incidents every week.

  32. If you don’t know the facts, leave yourself out of trying to guess them.
    My brother is a veteran having been injured during boot camp, thus, medical discharge.
    The whole incident on bus, stadium could’ve been refused had police, people just decently handled the situation…to make a media mockery out of him and “use” him and his mental illness for sport and it profit says a lot about californians…
    His sister.Joan-Elizabeth…