Vietnam Tom Conspiracy

There is a video out right now wherein a 67 year old bearded man and a young black male with corn rows get into an argument, which turns into a shoving match, which turns into a brutal beat down… with the old man as the victor. It is not a video for the faint-hearted, but I had a couple of thoughts.

First, there is something redeeming in seeing an old guy stand his ground and come out on the winning end of the equation, as this is so often NOT the case. However, let us not presume the old man absolved of all wrong-doing. He WAS provoking the younger man in the beginning of the video: “Let’s get back to business; how much you charge me for a spit shine?” isn’t exactly the best ice breaker with a stranger on a bus who already appears to be giving you grief.

He backs off his original jibe and acts naive, as though the younger man was truly offering to shine his shoes (which I find hard for the old man to have believed). What happens afterword is somewhat sad. You have innocent bystanders who would love nothing but to be anywhere else. You have friends of the young man in the back taunting their friend to “beat his white ass!” and who later proceed to take and go through the old man’s beard after he exits the bus.

Anyways, a fight ensues, with a surprising result, and then it ends. And we move on. Right? Well… there’s a second part of the story, and it involves an old guy with a beard named Thomas Brusco (Tommy Slick, Vietnam Tom). There is a man taking credit for the fight who looks like the man on the bus, but I have good reason to believe it is not the same man. Here is why.

First, they have different voices, very different. For evidence, listen to when the guy on the bus says, “Why you being so hostile, man?” He sounds more like Chong of Cheech and Chong than the gravel voiced Tommy Slick. They also are from different walks of life. The man on the bus wears ironed shorts with his t-shirt tucked in and a belt around his waist. He carries an organic grocery bag with him, and has an affinity for keeping his nose from running with a Kleenex. Tommy Slick is a street urchin who smokes and wears semi-gangster clothing, flat billed cap and a camoflauge jacket. He is much more urban than the man on the bus.

Furthermore, when Tommy Slick gave an interview going back over what happened on the bus, his story just doesn’t hold up. It sounds more like he’s just reciting what he saw on the video, using key words from what the camera caught. And there’s a problem with his story. First he relays what is said on the video, that he needed to spit shine his shoes for a funeral on Friday. But later in the interview, he falls apart saying his mama died two days later. So which is it? Furthermore, in the interview he says he is joking with his white friend next to him, but the man on the bus is flanked by a black man and a white woman. Where’s the white friend?

And some of what Tommy Slick has to say is just preposterous. He claims the man he defended himself against was a murderer, and convicted of robbery. That the black man had a knife on him, and that the old man had a knife of his own for protection. I don’t know where you’d put your knife with those shorts on. He said that the man was going to serve 10 years in prison, and another 18 for robbing him. I didn’t see the young man robbing anyone, though his friends did take the old man’s bag to the back of the bus.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to unearth the truth, but trust me when I tell you that the man on the bus is not the same guy pretending to be him in interviews, the man who calls himself Tommy Slick. Whether or not Tommy Slick is the same old man who gets tased at the Oakland A’s game… that’s for you to decide, but I have my suspicions about Tommy Slick, and how he might have gotten his nickname.

I won’t post the video(s) on my site, due to their graphic nature, but if you’re so inclined you can try and learn more about the 67 year old man bus incident.

30 Responses to
“Vietnam Tom Conspiracy”

  1. ich's cran February 28, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Leave it to a person like you to try to justify the fact this younger guy put his hands on the old dude first.
    You’re disgusting.

    What would you do?
    That young guy punched him first.
    Little coward like yourself would probably do nothing.
    Or, you’d be the thug instigating the situation.

    I’m amazed that there’s someone (you) trying to justify the young dude.

  2. oakland psycho March 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    it is really him one of my brothers has a tenant in his building that knows him. we were hanging out having a bbq and the tenant brought him over let me just tell you the man is nuts he did not stop talking about it. its him though i know it.

  3. Zachary May 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    You’re a moron and obviously didn’t hear what he was saying. I hate biased people like you. He was talking with his friend about getting his shoes shined and the black man butted into his conversation by saying how it has to be a black man doing the shoe shining. Tom said no and that it could be a Chinaman for all the black man knows. And then the black guy offered to shine his shoes (sarcastically) but then Tom came right back at him and said he could (calling his bluff) and then the black racist man got upset and started threatening Tom so we went to the front. The racist black man came up to the front and punched Tom and Tom fought back in self-defense. Then the racist black man’s fiance took his bag (she’s a cop by the way) and looked through his belongings and took money from his wallet.

    Tom stood up for himself. Also, in an interview the black man admitted he was “a little” drunk. How can you be so narrow not to see all of this when it’s right in plain sight? Answer: because you’re still a closet racist and assume that every fight between a white person and a black person is caused by the assumed racist white man. Well guess what, life isn’t like that. Jackasses are jackasses no matter what color skin they have. Get it in your head.

  4. travrosty July 11, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    its the same guy, he has the same tattoos on his forearms in all the videos, he also has the same acutely sloped nose at the bridge of his nose in all the videos, its the same guy!

  5. WhySoHostile? July 20, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    I’m glad to hear someone else agrees with me- right from the first time I saw the alleged interviews with Vietnam Tom I thought his voice on and off the bus, along with all his story inconsistencies, didn’t match up. I want to know 1) if the female shooting the video went on air, along with the dude with cornrows, why didn’t the real Tom come forward? 2) How is it that NO ONE knows the real man’s name??? You’d think of some 10 million+ people that have seen it, one of them could say “Oh that’s John Smith.” 3) Who would win if the real EBM confronted the fraud Tom Brusso?

    I suppose it has a lot to do with the guy being older and this being a web culture thing, but still, you’d think someone would have set the record straight by now. I really want to know who that guy is. Anyone in Oakland keeping an eye out for this guy?

  6. whocares July 23, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I don’t really care who it is. I just appreciate and love a video that gives me joy and laughter seeing and old person give what’s what to and younger fella, thinking he can do what he likes just because said person who was arguing with happend to be at the other side of 55.

    would he have walked towards him had the ‘old man’ been 30something, built like a brick shit house? more fool for him thinking he would be intimidated.

    whoever he is. Legend.

  7. RonnySlats September 2, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    I lived in North Beach for a few years. I knew this guy as “Shadow Boxer” That’s the name we gave him- He would shadow box in the Square on top of the stone monuments. We would talk on occassion and sometimes throw the pigskin around– He is a border line transient (Not a bum but hangs out with them)and a man with a lot of stories that change often. He’s well known in the neighbor and the guy writing the story above is reading to far into this and totally clueless. I guarantee you its the same guy and I can also guarantee you that story writer has no idea what transpired. Tommy’s story will change everytime he tells it- that’s just who he is. I’ve seen Tommy urinating on a the front window of a fancy restaurant and I have also seen him help old ladies cross the street. Bottom line is he walked away from the guy on the bus- and the young guy still pursued him. To whoever wrote the story above “Don’t quit your day job” I would also suggest watching Coloumbo re-runs- it would really benefit you to get more right than Tommy’s age – which by the way is probably not 67.

  8. Flybot77 September 5, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Actually,the Epic Beard Man was talking to his buddy about getting one his brothers to shine his shoes for a funeral.Ive been around some old school Vets who refer to their friends as brothers all the time.Anyway the black guy walks by and hears “brother,”shine” and “shoes” and butts in and says “why a brother got to shine yo shoes”.The old guy apparently thought he offered to shine his shoes so he ask him how much he charges.Done

  9. Paul Todd October 17, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Jesus, who are you? Mr conspiracy theory or something? Its blatantly the same guy and the reason that the story differs? Because Tom is mentally ill and was bigging himself up. Surely you can tell that hes unstable? I have researched this myself, read all relevant articles and watched all relevant videos and YES it is the same guy. Even Toms Sister backs this up. Its about time you did more research.

    Heres one of your quotes from above story

    “and who later proceed to take and go through the old man’s beard after he exits the bus.”

    WHAT? They went through his beard after he left the bus? What the fuck? It must have been a long beard to still be on the bus after Tom had got off. Also why the fuck would you go through someones beard?

    Furthermore its not Thomas Brusco is Thomas Brusso, get your facts right man….

  10. Paul Todd October 17, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    One more final point, check out the video of AC Transit fight, look at EPG T-shirt as he gets of the bus. What does it say on the front? Its 100% visible but i’ll tell you “Tom Slick” is what it says. What do you have to say about that subby?

  11. dr123 October 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    It’s definitely him. You can tell by the tattoos

  12. zach December 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    i agree with whocares. 100%

  13. losdha March 29, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Check his left arm in both videos bud, similar tatoo. You missed that one brains.

  14. losdha March 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    oh and to add i doubt the mind of a 67 year old veteran who says he smokes weed is going to be completly accurate telling any story.

  15. Breanna White May 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Wow, You really need to do some fact checking before writing article.
    You lost your creditably so quickly.
    Any computer armchair warrior can spout an opinion.

  16. peter Machinist June 19, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    hey vitnam tom i respect you your not a racisit and a good man for beating that black mans ass

  17. mastif October 7, 2011 at 7:42 am #

    tbh i think he is a fucking legend and if youve got the time to criticise hime for standing up to some punk ass black dude then dude youve got issues nwould you just stand there and take that shit? no obviously not dick head

  18. kickitin October 7, 2011 at 7:44 am #


  19. Tracey October 16, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    His voice does change periodically, in nearly every video of him. It even changes in the bus video. When he asks, “why are you being so hostile man?” It changes, then goes back to the way it sounded before. So how does the author reason that this must be an imposter? There might be a remote chance of it if his voice was different throughout the entire video compared to all other videos, but it’s only different for about one sentence. This should be obvious to the author if they have ears which they obviously do so I have to question their intellectual capacity. Do they think the “real” Tom disappeared and the fake one slipped in unnoticed while the bus video was being recorded? Yeah, they’re working together.

    The man has serious psychological problems, always has, and it’s not from Vietnam according to his sister in an interview. In fact according to her—he wasn’t even in Vietnam. He’s also not 67, he’s 63, and at the time of the bus incident he may have been 62 because I believe he celebrated a birthday very recently. He also usually refuses to take his medications according to the woman identified as his sister and this is why he goes nuts and gets loud and keeps going on and on and tells crazy stories that aren’t even true.

    This is a good example of why you shouldn’t believe everything you see, hear or watch. Things usually aren’t exactly as they seem. Hell, I admit to being a little disappointed myself, he seems like a cool guy with a big heart and he’s definitely not a coward, he’s just not mentally stable

  20. jpb December 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    The black guy should be more respectful towards his elders. I have had many arguments with elderly people, but never once did I even think about physically attacking any of them regardless of what they said. The black guy got a reality check – a good old fashioned ass whoopin. As for whether the old guy in the video is the same guy claiming to be him, who cares? The video teaches a lesson.

  21. Primon June 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    I don’t think the guy being mentally unstable even matters to the author’s claims in this article. First off, the guy’s voice sounds different on a bus than standing in the street. Not very surprising and certainly not convincing. We all sound different when raising our voices or expressing different emotions.
    Second, he’s not wearing the same outfit. I fail to see how that proves it’s not the same guy, and I don’t think it’s very logical to assume the guy is too old to have more than one outfit. My dad wore a suit to work, I didn’t suspect him of being an impostor because he wore sweatpants on Sunday.
    Third, I can’t name one person that tells the exact same story twice. Things are always added or left out for dramatic effect. Everyone is guilty of embellishment, mainly to impress or entertain the audience. The fact he might be mentally ill can only add some understanding as to why he would make outlandish claims about the asshole that just attacked him on a city bus.
    My favorite is the fact his “white friend” is nowhere to be seen on camera. I can’t help but point out that there are likely several people that were on the bus but not on the video. I don’t remember the person recording ever taking a head count or interviewing the witnesses. You simply don’t have enough information to assert that his “white friend” was not on the bus.
    I’d suggest spending your time researching something more important, but I’d be afraid you’d screw that up, too.

  22. Ryan Dunn June 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm #


    First, you should know the difference between news reporting and opinion editorial.

    Second, you conveniently skipped over the relevant parts of my post to make your case.

    Third, my best evidence is actually that they are two different people.

    My post is actually more about one man taking credit for another mans actions. It is not about about a black guy and white guy getting into a fight. However it is incorrect to act like the old man was innocent. He was surely provoking at the very least in the clip we all saw.


  23. Susan Slotknik August 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    The guy who asked, “why are you hostile”, was his friend, Bob. If you had paid better attention, you would have noticed, and yes, his voice in the bus video is just as gravelly sounding as his voice in the other videos of him. You are amazingly non observant; I cannot imagine how unobservant you are when you drive a vehicle. Please stay off the roads I travel.

  24. David August 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    here is an interesting thought ( at least I think so ) how come this friend of his ugly bob has not been interviewed I’am sure he could shed some light on the validity of this(feel free to correct me if I’am wrong) I’am more interested in Exactly how the altercation began in the video it begins with tom asking Micheal ( the 50′ year old man not a such a young punk after all ) how much he would pay to spit shine his shoes now I’am not condemming either parties it appeared to me they both kept a fruitless argument going where it should have ended after viewing the video numerous times I saw now actual contact from Micheals fist to toms cheekbone it does not appear to me that tom has been hit at all I also find it interesting ms. washington (the videographer) did not confirm either micheals or toms stories she seemed to try and save herself from the implications of her stealing mr. brusos bag I will admidt that I do not have very much evidence to go on and Ive only recentley have taken an interest in this story but I do feel that the author Ryan Dunn did make some interesting points ( he was heavily verbally assulted for seeing this incident from a subjective prespective) everything about this is unclear However from the videos I did see it does not seem to be a different person taking credit for mr. Brusos actions I just think he is getting a little too much plublicity what makes this story any more special than anyone else fighting on a bus two old men exchanging heated words and subsequentley fighting this type of shit happens all over the world what makes micheal or tom any more special than any other intoxicated bus passanger and mentally unstable bus passanger sorry for the blatent lack of proper punctuation I have no Idea how I did so well in my english classes I realize that this might feel like a chore to read but to anyone who read the entire thing I deeply appreciate it this story is an interesting thing to ponder and I feel nothing is above questioning – David

  25. David August 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I also apologies for my spelling errors if it hinders your abillity to read my previous post XD thank you again if you got through my lengthy post

    and I would love to hear your feedback

  26. David August 31, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    @susan slotknik I think you should check the footage again those words clearly came from tom I wouldnt want to be on the road while a ‘ Non observant ” crazy lady such as your self sees make pretend people

  27. Ryan Dunn August 31, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    I just watched the video again, along with follow up interviews with Larry and of course Vietnam Tom. I am not sure why more people don’t see what I see?

    The man on the bus is NOT Tommy Slick. Period end of story.

    In the post interview, all Tom can say correctly is what he saw in the video. Details (Larry flashed a knife, said he was a murderer) are fully at odds with Larry’s recount.

    Look, neither on that bus were wholly in the right. Larry was clearly looking to make an example of the bearded man, and the bearded man clearly provoked Larry by asking him how much he would charge to spit shine his shoes. The bearded man’s retaliation to a drunk guy’s lazy shove may have been excessive given the circumstances, but I am not any authority on how much force is excessive.

    At the end of the day, the real conspiracy, in my eyes, or travesty maybe, is that the wrong bearded man is being given credit for another man’s actions.


  28. Jimmy dean September 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Gosh people need go leave that poor old man alone! He’s 67 smokes pot and went through the horrors of the Vietnam war for Christ sake. he may not be completely right in the head but boy did he kick that guys ass!! Good on ya Tom.

  29. Hal Fairbank June 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Man you are ignorant. You are not worth my time really, but in hopes you will learn something I will offer you a few mins of my time.

    If you think you uncovered the truth you are not very thorough.

    Admittedly Tom is not well. He is a Vietnam vet and many vets have problems. But that is not the issue. He lied on his interviews about the knifes and the sentences and the thug being a murder. But the issue is he was harmless until provoked. His mom just died and he was talking to a friend about going to the funeral. The thug caused this and was the instigator 100% And he got what he deserved. End of story.

    The thug was trying to be a thug… he was the instigator. At first he offered to shine his shoes, or said something that sounded like he offered to shine his shoes. he got involved in Toms conversation with his friend. That part was just a misunderstanding maybe.

    The issue is people are always trying to turn the race card. Like the black people in this video. Most of us are tired of this. And what about the honor and respect card. Honor your elders. Respect our veterans.

    Put yourself in the thugs shoes, if you are any kind of a man you don’t disrespect or dishonor our elders or our veterans.

    But that is what your doing here.

    There is more than 1 video on the internet, and the girl was charged with theft for stealing his wallet and the thug only got off charges because he got his butt kicked and everyone involved knew Tom was harmless unless provoked. Tom is a good old guy, that has some problems and the thug was a person with potential that is wasting it.

    Again put yourself in the position of the girl, do you pick up his bag and keep it or do you say hey you left your bag here. You keep it if your a common thief…and you video the fact your taking it if your a complete moron.

    The project mentality on the bus was the main problem.

    Ryan you have a brain, use it for something productive and don’t be so disgusting.

    By the way the video is not for the faint of heart you wanker. pussy s like you are just part of the problem.

  30. marie clark May 17, 2016 at 3:06 am #

    Its really tom in the video i have datedtom hes a nice guy .he does have his problems just sorting them out hes trying to get sober and if anyone knows how hard it is to get sober in the most expensive city to live in then you must know how difficult it glad to know him.

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